BENSALEM POLICE IDENTIFY HUMAN REMAINS FROM 1995

We need your help.  Did you know Merrybeth Hodgkinson?

On September 18th, 1995, the Bensalem Police Department found the skeletal remains of an adult in a wooded area behind the Club House Diner on Street Rd.  The victim was unclothed and wrapped in a plastic tarp.

Autopsy information determined that the victim was an adult white female between the ages of 35 to 45 years old and that she had given birth at least once. She was approximately 4’8’ to 5’2” tall and had brown hair. The death was classified as a homicide by unspecified means and it was estimated that the body had been there for two to three years. 

Some articles of clothing were found near the body may have possibly belonged to the victim. A blue quilted sleeveless vest, a pink t-shirt with “KPMG Peat Marwick”, and a white t-shirt with “Property of Alcatraz Penitentiary Swim Team, San Francisco”. Additional items found were a brown beaded seat cushion (possibly used in an automobile) and two crucifixes, one gold and one silver. Despite considerable media coverage, the decedent was never identified

and there were no missing person reports that matched her. She was buried in Telford, PA under the name Jane Doe.

In May of 2004, Bensalem Police exhumed her remains and sent them to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification where a DNA profile was extracted and uploaded into the CODIS system in an attempt to identify her. Additionally, the DOE Network assisted by providing a forensic sketch and sculpture to show what the decedent looked like in life. Over 50 missing women were excluded as being Jane Doe between 2004 and 2021.

In November of 2021, BODE labs developed a DNA profile for this Jane Doe and uploaded it into GEDmatch and FamilytreeDNA.com.  Jennifer Moore, of Innovative Forensic Investigations, assisted Police by conducting genealogy research which led to the identification of Jane Doe. With additional sibling DNA comparison testing, the Bensalem Twp. Police Dept. is confident that Jane Doe has been identified as Merrybeth Hodgkinson of Warminster, PA. Merrybeth vanished sometime in September of 1992 after visiting with her family in Warminster, PA.  Merrybeth was approximately 31 years old when she died and worked as an exotic dancer in the Lower Bucks County area. The investigation has shown that she also resided at 719 Rhawn St. Phila, PA, the George Washington Motor Lodge, and the Oakford Inn.

We are asking that anyone who knew Merrybeth Hodgkinson contact Detective Chris McMullin of the Bensalem Police at 215-633-3726 or Detective Greg Biedler of the Bucks County DA’s Office at 215-348-6344.