Body of Palm Beach Woman Identified 30 Years Later
The body of a previously unidentified woman found more than thirty years ago now has a name and a face.
New York State Police say that the body, found in October 1983 off the shoulder of State Route 63 in the Orleans County town of Shelby, New York, is that of Shari Lynne Ball.
Balls' family had reported her missing to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office in Florida in June of that same year. She had told her family that she was going to New York to begin a modeling career. Police say that, other than a contact Ball made with a friend from a truck stop in Ashland, Virgina about a day or two after leaving Florida, she was never heard from again.
When her body was located in the fall of 1983 by a hunter it was in a "severely decomposed state and (is) believed to have been there for several months."
There was no identification near the body and no identifying characteristics. And, although the cause of death has never been determined New York State Police say they do believe that foul play may have been involved.
Authorities are not yet saying what the break in the case was, but in October of 2013 State Police and the Orleans County District Attorney, with help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, pursued a court order to exhume the body from a cemetery in Albion, New York to conduct DNA analysis on the body.
Ball's DNA, entered in the National DNA Database, was processed and eventually came up as a match for a family member who had entered DNA in the database in the hope of locating Shari Lynne.
At the time of her disappearance Shari Lynne Ball was reported to authorities in Palm Beach as being twenty years old, white, five feet and four inches tall, about 100 pounds, with hazel eyes and blonde hair. She had also used the name of "Timmerman."
Although the identification is now complete, authorities are still trying to determine to cause of her death. New York State Police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office are asking anyone who may have information about Shari Lynne Ball to call them at: (585) 344.6210.