The body of a girl found off an Arizona highway on Valentine’s Day nearly 40 years ago has been identified as a teenage runaway from Missouri, sheriff officials said.
Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll announced Monday that DNA confirmed 17-year-old Carolyn Eaton was the young homicide victim who was found off Interstate 40 west of Williams on Feb. 14, 1982 — ending a decades-old quest to identify the girl previously known only as “Valentine Sally.”
Eaton had lived in Bellefontaine Neighbors in St. Louis County when she ran away from her home sometime around Christmas 1981 or early in 1982, authorities said.
An Arizona state trooper found the dead girl while assisting another motorist, but investigators were unable to determine her identity until working with a company earlier this year to compare DNA from the body with online ancestry databases.
“Through this process, detectives were able to locate potential family members of Carolyn, obtain DNA samples from them and