The Washington Post reports that two unsolved cases may be connected – one in Alabama and one in New Orleans, and both of them happened 40 years ago. Alabama authorities discovered unidentifiable skeletal remains, and New Orleans was dealing with an unsolved missing persons case.
The two areas are only 120 miles apart, but it took 40 years to create the link between the bones and the missing housewife, Mary Ann Perez.
Investigators are fairly certain they can link the 1976 disappearance of Perez to a serial killing couple who attacked multiple women in the area in the 70s.
Perez went out with friends in March of 1976 just outside of New Orleans. Her teenage daughter was at home babysitting the younger children. Perez told the teen she would call to check on them, and she did – but a woman by the name of “Dorothy” called afterward, saying Perez was having car troubles.
The family was suspicious about the mystery call, since Perez was driving a brand new vehicle. Perez never returned home, and her vehicle was still in the bar parking lot the following day. Her purse was found in Lake Pontchartrain, weighed down with a brick.
Hunters found human bones in Grand Bay, Alabama eight months later. Investigators knew they belonged to a woman who had a partial dental plate. The remains were sent to Oklahoma and an image of the victim was reconstructed, but no member of the public came forward when it was released.
David and Donna Courtney were a husband/wife team who pleaded guilty to a 1980 murder in Wichita. They also admitted they had killed two other victims in Houston and a woman in New Orleans. Courtney told police he pulled into a bar parking lot and found a woman who was too drunk to drive, so he took her back to the couple’s trailer.
After sexual advancements from Donna Courtney, the woman woke up and demanded a ride home. No information was given to police about where the body was hidden, so investigators had nothing to go on. Courtney is currently serving his life sentence in Kansas, and Donna died 20 years ago.
After the police made the connection between the two cases, they found the remains were still in Oklahoma. They are now in Texas awaiting DNA results to determine if they in fact belong to Perez.
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