January 30, 2020
For Immediate Release
Mark Myers, Public Information Director
DNA LEADS TO IDENTIFICATION OF OCSO COLD CASE UNSOLVED MURDER VICTIM KNOWN AS THE “LIME LADY”
(Oklahoma City) The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office announced a huge break in a cold case unsolved murder. The identification of one of the agency’s most publicized “Jane Doe” homicides finally has been accomplished with the assistance of the DNA Doe Project’s volunteer genealogists and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office. “This has been an extremely difficult case for our agency,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff PD Taylor. “One that has been frustrating, but a case we never gave up on, specifically our Investigations Division Captain Bob Green, he has continuously worked the case, and his relentless efforts have paid off.”
Nearly 40-years ago on April 18, 1980 Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene of a murder in Eastern Oklahoma County along the North Canadian River. The body of a young woman, whom we now know to be 21-year old Tamara Lee Tigard of California, was found covered in lime. She had no identification her body and was found the day of her 21st birthday.
The initial investigation determined Tigard was shot at a different location, then her body taken to the river site. Investigators used traditional techniques attempting to identify Tigard, but all efforts failed. Investigators called her the “Lime Lady” due to the murderer’s attempt to destroy evidence and speed up the decaying process for her body with lime. The killer’s lime strategy actually ended up helping to preserve Tigard’s body.
“I always just wanted to bring dignity to the victim in this case,” said Captain Bob Green. “All of these years she has been gone without a trace, with none of her family or acquaintances knowing what happened to her. I just couldn’t give up, and now we know who she is due to the hard work of the DNA Doe Project with assistance from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, and I am so thankful for their efforts in helping us in this case.”
The DNA Doe Project uses sophisticated DNA techniques and was able to create a candidate profile that took nearly 9 months of challenging processing to complete.
“DDP wishes to acknowledge in addition to OCSO the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the University of North Texas for providing DNA samples; Hudson Alpha Discovery for processing the DNA; Dr. Greg Magoon, Research Engineer, Aerodyne Research Corp., contracting through Full Genomes Corp., for his work in bioinformatics; and GEDmatch for providing their database.” – The DNA Doe Project
Through this process it was discovered Tigard had also lived in Nevada, and had even served in the U.S. Army. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office assisted in securing military medical records of Tigard which helped positively identify her. “Now she can be properly recognized,” said Captain Green, “her life has meaning and we can respectfully honor her.”