Hancock County investigators re-open a decade old cold case - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County investigators re-open a decade old cold case

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(left) Woodin, circa 2000. (right) Forensic anthropologists created a reconstructed photo of the murdered woman's face. (Photo source: Hancock County Sheriff's Dept.) (left) Woodin, circa 2000. (right) Forensic anthropologists created a reconstructed photo of the murdered woman's face. (Photo source: Hancock County Sheriff's Dept.)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A decade after a woman was found murdered in Hancock County investigators believe new information could help them solve the case.

On May 10, 2003, Hancock County investigators were called to a wooded area off Highway 607 near Texas Flat Road. The desolate spot is in the Stennis Space Center Buffer Zone, but was once known as the Santa Rosa Community. There deputies found partially charred human remains.

An autopsy confirmed the woman was murdered, but investigators could not determine her identity. She became known as Rosa Doe and the case turned cold.

"Until you know who she is, it's almost impossible to figure out who was responsible for her demise," Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan explained. "So it's very important to know who the victim is."

About three years ago, a Florida man saw a picture reconstructed of Rosa Doe and believed it was his sister. Just recently, DNA confirmed it was his sister, Asenath Mary Woodin.

Finally having an identity, investigators have begun reconstructing the case file that was lost in Hurricane Katrina.

"Fortunately, the people that were involved in putting the file together are still around," Grannan said. "We are able to visit with them and jog their memories."

Now that investigators know who the victim is they can answer many questions that lead to the case becoming cold.

"It helps with all kinds of stuff, but tracking her is very important in coming up with a motive," Grannan said. "Now we can ask, what were her habits? Where did she spend her money? Where did she stay? Who was she hanging with and when was she last seen?"

"There is a possibility one of the viewers may see the photograph, or be familiar with the name and may have had some contact with her during that period," Investigator John Luther said.

Deputies said they have some ideas of what happened to Woodin, but they need help to finally be able to bring those responsible for her murder to justice.

"It's a long shot. If you guys don't get us a lead, it's probably going to be pretty tough," Grannan said.

If you have any information on Woodin or her death, you are asked to call Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 466-6910 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.

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