The Journal Gazette
Sunday, July 21, 2019 12:23 pm

Remains found in 1999 identified

The Journal Gazette

An unidentified woman found in a Steuben County field northeast of Angola in September 1999 has been identified. 

The cause of the woman's death had been ruled undetermined but suspicious, a statement from the Steuben County Sheriff's Department said. It was determined that the woman's body had been in the field for six to eight weeks. 

A forensic facial sketch was made, and police investigated hundreds of potential leads in an attempt to identify the woman, according to the release. 

In 2007, DNA was collected from the body and entered into the National Missing Persons DNA Database, but no identification was made. 

In 2018, the Steuben County Sheriff's Office contacted Parabon NanoLabs to use their Snapshot DNA Analysis Service to find possible genealogical matches to the body. 

Parabon produced a list of three potential family relatives and, using traditional police work, the sheriff's office found a woman believed to be a sister, but no identification was made. Finally, a potential daughter was found and a DNA sample from her helped identify the body as Tina L. Cabanaw, from the Detroit area, the statement said. 

Cabanaw was reported missing to the Detroit Police department in July 1999 and never found. 

Anyone with information about Cabanaw's death is asked to contact the Steuben County Sheriff's tip line at 260-668-4646 or Crime Stoppers at 260-668-7867. 

Parabon NanoLabs is the same company that was used to identify April Tinsley's killer in 2018.

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