Human remains found more than three decades ago have been finally identified as a Texas woman whose family reported her missing from Houston, authorities announced.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) said Wednesday that skeletal remains discovered by two hunters on Dec. 16, 1985 were positively identified as belonging to Alisha “Lisa” Marie Cooks, 16, who disappeared from the Houston area that summer.
“Alisha’s family provided DNA samples that were uploaded to NAMUS, The national Missing and Unidentified Persons System,” the BCSO said in a statement. “The DNA submitted by the family match the DNA profile of the unidentified remains recovered 36 years ago.”
In addition to the official written statement, the BCSO shared a photo on Facebook of investigators alongside Cooks’ brother Byron Parker.
“Providing closure to the families of victims is not always doable. I am proud to say in the case of Alisha Cooks we have done just that,” the post read.
One of Cooks’ relatives, Sharias Bibben, expressed her gratitude in a comment on the announcement.
“I’ve been waiting all my natural life for this closure you gave me and my family today,” she wrote alongside the hashtag #Justice4Lisa.
Although Cooks’ cause of death is unconfirmed, the case remains an active homicide investigation. An additional press conference about the case is scheduled for Oct. 31.
Cooks’ identification is the latest in a series of cold case breaks, as advanced DNA technology allows law enforcement to identify both victims and perpetrators. Earlier this month, police announced that they had identified the remains of Joan Marie Dymond, a Pennsylvania teen who was missing for over 50 years.
Like Cooks’ case, Dymond’s death remains an open murder investigation.
“After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it,” Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Patrick Dougherty said in a statement.