20 Years Later Authorities ID Body of Missing Mpls. Woman

Updated: 11/07/2013 4:54 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

Pearline Walton
Pearline Walton
Photo: Photo: Minnesota BCA

The BCA has found its first match in its new project to identify dozens of remains of people missing from Minnesota.

The victim is Pearline Walton of Minneapolis. She disappeared 20 years ago.

A lot has changed over the past several decades. Recent developments in technology have given investigators new tools to identify the remains of missing people.

In May, the BCA asked families with a missing loved one in Minnesota to come forward with DNA.

Walton was 22-years-old when she went missing. She was last seen in the Twin Cities area.

A body was discovered that November in Dresser, Wis., near a country road. Investigators were unable to identify the remains at that time.

The Walton family was the first family to provide investigators with her DNA since their effort started.

On Thursday, investigators announced Walton was also the first person to be identified in that effort.

"This was a huge event in this case. And it puts us into first gear from second. And now we can start and hope that there's still going to be some evidence to find. Some statements to get," said Polk County Sheriff Pete Johnson.

Right now, investigators are calling the investigation into the death of Walton a homicide investigation. They have made no arrests but say there are people they want to interview.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Walton's activities in 1993 or with information about the circumstances of her death to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 715-485-8366.