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Volunteers Shocked After Break in Cold Case Murder

GROVE CITY (Ben Garbarek) -- Her identity was a mystery for more than 30 years, but now a murder victim has finally been identified.

Sharon Rae Bowen of Salt Lake City, Utah has been identified as a woman found strangled to death near Hoover Dam in 1982.

"The summer she was having this life experience of being murdered, abandoned, discarded, I was planning my wedding," said Karen Cook, who helped keep Bowen's memory alive by getting a headstone for the murder victim.

Cook was working as a youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Hope in Grove City when she started working on Bowen's headstone.  At the time she was only known as "Jane Doe", but that soon changed to "Mary Rose Doe" after the Virgin Mary.

Bowen was buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Lockbourne without a headstone for years.  Finally in 1998, Cook and several other churches gave her a marked grave.

"We didn't know who she was," Cook said.  "But she was named for the mother of God and it gave us a focus."

Cook said she was astonished when she saw in the news Bowen had finally been named.

"I did not have to read anything more than the headlines to know what happened," she said.  "She could have been my sister.  Age-wise and everything, she could have been my sister.  It was just so cool to have a picture and a name to go with the grave."

Our Lady of Perpetual Hope is trying to get in touch with the Bowen family in Utah.  They want to help facilitate sending her remains back home or change the name on the headstone depending on what the family would like to do.

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