Steuben County police identify body found in 1999

(Photo Supplied - Steuben County Sheriff's Office)

A body found in 1999 in Steuben County has now been identified.

On Sept. 6, 1999, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a body found lying in a field northeast of Angola in what is now Glendarian Golf Course.

The body was determined to have been in the field for approximately 6-8 weeks, and it was thought to be female, approximately 50 years old, 5’4″ and with a medium build. The woman also had brown hair and a tattoo on her left shoulder.

Since the discovery, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office, along with the Indiana State Police and FBI, have been attempting to identify the remains.

In 2007, data was collected from the body and entered into the National Missing Persons DNA Database at the University of North Texas Science Center, though no identification was made.

In 2018, police sought the services of Parabon NanaLabs (Parabon) – a DNA technology company in Virginia. The Steuben County Coroner’s Office requested the necessary amount of funding from the County Council, which they voted on and agreed to provide.

Parabon submitted a genetic data profile from a DNA sample taken from the body to a public genetic genealogy database. The database looked for comparisons between the unidentified body and other individuals who share significant amounts of DNA.

Leads were handed back to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, which included a family tree dating back to the mid-1800’s and a list of three potential family relatives.

Following the investigation, police were able to contact a potential daughter of the unidentified body and a DNA sample was collected.

The body was then determined to be that of Tina Cabanaw, from the Detroit, Michigan area. She was reported missing to the Detroit Police Department in July 1999 and was never located.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation into Cabanaw’s death. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Office Tip Line at (260) 668-4646 or Crime Stoppers at (260) 668-STOP.

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