Cynthia Gastelle went missing 32 years ago; her remains were finally identified this week.
More than three decades after a Maryland teen went missing, the remains of Cynthia Gastelle have been identified.
Gastelle's family reported her missing on April 3, 1980. She was 18.
"We had hoped would come back," said Peter Gastelle, Cynthia's brother, during a press conference Wednesday. "We now know Cindy was taken from us. Our hope is gone, and our hearts are broken again.”
Two years after Gastelle vanished, skeletal remains were found on Bull Run Mountain in Haymarket, Va. Investigators never linked them to Gastelle, who lived about 45 miles away in Takoma Park, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
She didn't drive, so investigators believe she was brought to Virginia. Her remains were found in a secluded area of the woods, nearly a mile off Route 15.
Over the years, her father would be called to examine remains and visit morgues, said another brother, Greg Gastelle.
In 2001, investigators entered DNA from the remains found on Bull Run Mountain into a national database. Last year, DNA from family members was collected in an unrelated case -- and last month, Prince William County police were notified of a match.
A forensic scientist credited advances in science over the last three decades.
Prior to his sister's disappearance, Peter Gastelle says, Cynthia Gastelle had been going to job interviews in Takoma Park. She had a GED and a cosmetology certificate, but had decided she didn't want to work in that field.
On the day she disappeared, one deli had called with a job offer.
But that night she didn't come home.
Now police are investigating the case as a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS.
Police also would like to speak to the man in the picture below, who was in Takoma Park when Gastelle disappeared. Police said he is not a person of interest in the case.
Police are looking to speak with this man for information into the disappearance of Cynthia Gastelle; they say he is not a person of interest.
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