'Woodlawn Jane Doe': Police identify Alexandria woman sexually assaulted, strangled to death 45 years ago

Forty-five years after an unidentified girl was found raped and strangled in Maryland, DNA evidence has helped identify the victim as a 16-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia.

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Margaret Fetterolf was a student at Hayfield Secondary School when she disappeared in 1975, according to family.

Baltimore County police say on September 12, 1976 detectives found the body of a young woman who had been violently raped, beaten and strangled.

She was found in the 5600 block of Dogwood Rd. near Lorraine Park Cemetery in Woodlawn.

Crime scene photos released by police show her body was covered by a sheet and her hands were bound. Chlorpromazine, used to treat psychotic orders, was found in her system and may have been used to sedate her according to investigators.

Police say a witness saw a white van dump the body between 9:20 and 10:20 a.m. They believe there was more than one person involved in the vicious crime.

In 2006, police say they did DNA testing on semen found on evidence from the scene.

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That same year, The Center For Missing and Exploited Children put out a sketch of the victim, known then as Woodlawn Jane Doe.

The years ticked on with no positive identification. Meanwhile Edward Fetterolf was left wondering what happened to his sister, Margaret, who he says he last saw when he was 12 years old.

He described her as a chronic runaway who had a troubled home life. Edward said police told his family they had stopped investigating her disappearance they year she would’ve turned 18.

He said his answer finally came when Baltimore police requested to meet with him without telling him why.

"When they met with me, they asked if I had any idea why they were there," Edward said. "And I told them, ‘No.’ And they said that they are there for a murder investigation. And I immediately said, ‘You must be here for my sister.’

Police say they finally identified her through DNA testing with assistance from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Bode Technology in Lorton.

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Edward said police told him they identified Margaret through a genealogy website database, the same technique used to identify the Golden State killer.

"Somebody in my family had participated in the DNA of ancestry.com and they were able to get a match," said Edward.

Edward, who still lives in Alexandria, is asking anyone who knew his sister and may have details about who she was hanging out with or who her boyfriend was when she went missing, to contact police.

Anyone who may have information about this case is asked to contact Baltimore County detectives at 410-307-2020. 

Click here for a detailed timeline of the crime.