Police identify teens’ bodies from 45-year-old murder case

DNA tests confirm two bodies found in Berks County 45 years ago are those of Philadelphia teenagers reported missing in 1968.

Fourteen-year-old Sandra Ann Stiver and her sister-in-law, 17-year-old Martha Evelyn Stiver, were identified through a comparison of family members, state police in Reading said in a news release Friday.

Sandra Stiver died of multiple gunshot wounds before her body was found in August 1968 along Route 82 in Caernarvon Township.

Martha Stiver’s remains were found eight months later, in April 1969, about three miles away in French Creek State Park. The cause of her death has not been determined, but investigators believe she was murdered around the same time as her sister-in-law.

Both were reported missing to Philadelphia police in the summer of 1968.

Police began an effort to connect the missing persons case in Philadelphia and the Jane Doe cases in Berks County in October, when both bodies were exhumed from a potter’s field.

Now that the remains have been identified, they will be returned to family members by the Berks County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call state police in Reading at 610-378-4011.

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