Pollen testing shows Wisconsin murder victim lived in Southwest

LA CROSSE — Recent testing shows an unidentified woman whose body was found in Wisconsin had once lived in the Southwest.

The woman's bludgeoned body was found along a Vernon County road in 1984. For decades, investigators believed she had lived in the area.

But recent testing on her clothing revealed a rare pollen specific to an urban area in the Semi-Arid Highlands or the Temperate Sierra in Arizona or New Mexico.

Vernon County sheriff's Lt. Scott Bjerkos tells the La Crosse Tribune that this finding changes the investigation.

Authorities hope someone in Wisconsin, Arizona or New Mexico can help identify the woman. Anyone with information is asked to call authorities.

The woman was white, between 50 and 63 years old, 5-foot-5 and 150 pounds. She had graying brown hair and blue eyes, a surgical scar on her abdomen and dentures.