Maria Maye Mendez went missing back in 1984, but recent DNA samples from testing on her family have re-opened the former cold case.

Mendez went missing in August 1984 after her family was unable to contact her and went by her apartment in Odessa and were unable to locate her, the family would report her as missing after not being able to get in contact with her for several days.

Investigators conducted interviews but the case quickly went cold, then last year OPD got DNA samples from her relatives and sent them to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification to test on skeletal remains found in Crane County back in January of 1990.

The Crane County Sheriff's Office deputies found the remains and OPD submitted them for DNA and anthropological research in 2013.

With advances in DNA technology, OPD identified the remains as those of the missing Maria Faye Mendez which means she can finally get a proper burial by her family.

Since they positively identified the remains that means the case can be re-opened after going cold back in 1984.

The case has now been upgraded to an active homicide investigation and OPD is asking if anyone has any information that could lead to an arrest, they are encouraged to call OPD at 432-335-3333 or Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS (8477).

The Odessa Police Department wants to thank the Texas Rangers, the Mendez Family, and the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for their help on this case which is into its fifth decade of investigation.




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