, 2022-09-29 02:00:00,
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — More than 21 years after her sister vanished without a trace, Veronique Duperly has some answers.
She now knows what happened to Patricia Agnes Gildawie, known by loved ones as Choubi, after the 17-year-old disappeared in 1975 from Fairfax, Virginia. Skeletal remains found in a drainage ditch in 2001 have been identified through DNA and genetic genealogy as belonging to the missing teen.
Fairfax County police investigators are still searching, however, for whoever put a bullet in Choubi Gildawie’s head.
Duperly recalled the moment she learned that her own DNA matched that of the slain woman.
“Oh my God, I was just so relieved,” Duperly told The Washington Post. “I can stop worrying: ‘Is she in jail? Is she in a prison? Is she hurt?’
“Now I know. Yeah, she was hurt.”
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Fairfax County police Cmdr. Ed O’Carroll, who heads the department’s Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureau, said the identification, while only part of the mystery, has been more than 47 years in the making.
“Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases,” O’Carroll said in a statement. “Advancements in technology have given my cold case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”
O’Carroll told the Post that now that investigators know who their victim was, they are actively working the case.