Cold case: California coroner IDs Virginia woman hit, killed by 2 cars in 1990
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Coroner's investigators in California have identified a woman struck and killed by two cars in 1990, solving a case that baffled officials for decades and was featured on the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries."
A new search of a national fingerprint database helped investigators finally ID the mystery woman as Andrea Kuiper of Fairfax, Virginia, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.
Kuiper was 26 years old when she was killed along Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, California, on April 1, 1990, officials said.
Her father, Richard Kuiper, said his family is relieved to finally learn what happened to Andrea after 27 years.
"Andrea was loved and respected. She was beautiful. But she was manic depressive, and therefore we had been through quite an adventure," he said in a statement provided by sheriff's officials.
Supervising Deputy Coroner Kelly Keyes said investigators never gave up trying to identify the body and "would regularly pull out her file to see if we could think of anything new to try." The county is investigating about 90 unidentified decedents, Keyes said.
Investigators were able to identify Kuiper after the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System partnered with the FBI to more closely examine fingerprints in a database.
A forensic match was made May 4 and Orange County officials worked with law enforcement in Virginia to contact Kuiper's parents.