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Archive for Monday, April 30, 1990

BODY NOT IDENTIFIED

April 30, 1990

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Police this morning said they still could not identify a body found Friday in East Lawrence, but said the body is not one of three missing Johnson County women who authorities believe were murdered last summer.

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin today said an autopsy will be performed Tuesday on the partially decomposed body, which was discovered shortly before 1 p.m. Friday in a wooded, brushy area south of the 800 block of East Eighth Street.

Olin today confirmed that the body was that of an adult woman and said investigators have found no evidence that foul play was involved in the death.

He said an investigator today is attempting to identify the body through fingerprints, which officials believe are well enough preserved to compare with prints on file.

Olin said officials would have difficulty identifying the woman through dental records because it appears very little, if any, dental work has been done on the woman's teeth.

The chief said "there is no information whatsoever" that the body is that of Joan A. Butler, 24, Overland Park, Theresa Brown, 22, or Christine Rusch, 22, both of Lenexa. The women disappeared last summer.

Richard Grissom Jr., 29, has been charged in Johnson County with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths.

Chris Mulvenon, police spokesman, said authorities have been able to rule out connections with the Johnson County women because of physical differences between the body and the missing women.

Olin said authorities have arranged for Dr. Kris Sperry, a pathologist from Atlanta, to assist with the autopsy. Sperry, a Lawrence native, and Dr. Carol Moddrell, Douglas County coroner, will conduct the autopsy.

Olin said 18 officers from five local law enforcement agencies the police and sheriff's departments, the Kansas University Police Department, the Santa Fe Railway police and the Ottawa Department of Public Safety are investigating the death.

He said the death is being investigated as a homicide, which is standard police procedure when an unattended death is reported.

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