Bodies of two women found in Texas Killing Fields are identified after 30 years

The bodies of two young women who were found dead in a Texas oil field that was dubbed the infamous Killing Fields have finally been identified after 30 years following a breakthrough in forensic DNA analysis.

Police on Monday identified the two women as Audrey Lee Cook, from Memphis, Tennessee, and Donna Prudhomme, from Port Arthur, Texas.

Cook was found in 1986 and Prudhomme was discovered in 1991. 

The identification of their bodies comes decades after their grisly remains were discovered in the oil field along Calder Road in League City just outside Houston. 

Police on Monday identified the two women Audrey Lee Cook, (left) from Memphis, Tennessee, and Donna Prudhomme, (right) from Port Arthur, Texas. Cook was found in 1986 and Prudhomme was discovered in 1991

Police on Monday identified the two women Audrey Lee Cook, (left) from Memphis, Tennessee, and Donna Prudhomme, (right) from Port Arthur, Texas. Cook was found in 1986 and Prudhomme was discovered in 1991

Police on Monday identified the two women Audrey Lee Cook, (left) from Memphis, Tennessee, and Donna Prudhomme, (right) from Port Arthur, Texas. Cook was found in 1986 and Prudhomme was discovered in 1991

Their bodies were uncovered in the same location where two other previously identified women were murdered and dumped. Thirty bodies have been found in the Killing Fields since the 1970s.  

Advances in forensic technology allowed detectives to finally identity the skeletal remains of the latest two victims who, up until this week, had only been known as Jane Doe and Janet Doe. 

Cook and Prudhomme were identified in part due to DNA phenotyping, which can predict physical appearance and provide renderings of the victims.

Authorities also used genetic genealogy, which is what detectives used to help catch the infamous Golden State serial killer.

It is the use of new DNA technology testing combined with traditional genealogical methods to establish the relationship between an individual and their ancestors who have voluntarily uploaded their DNA to public genealogy databases.

Audrey Lee Cook pictured in a rendering police released last year following DNA phenotyping

Audrey Lee Cook pictured in a rendering police released last year following DNA phenotyping

She was believed to have been 30 years old when she died

She was believed to have been 30 years old when she died

Audrey Lee Cook (pictured left in a rendering police released last year) was believed to have been 30 years old when she died

Donna Prudhomme pictured in a rendering police released last year following DNA phenotyping

Donna Prudhomme pictured in a rendering police released last year following DNA phenotyping

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Donna is believed to have been 34 when she was killed

Donna is believed to have been 34 when she was killed

Donna Prudhomme (pictured left) in a rendering police released last year following DNA phenotyping) is believed to have been 34 when she was killed

Detectives investigating the two cold case murders started building family trees in April last year based on the genetic genealogy.

They were able to narrow down potential family members who provided DNA that investigators then positively linked to the murdered women. 

Cook, who born in 1955, was believed to have been 30 years old when she died. Authorities said she may have died anywhere from six weeks to six months before her body was found. 

She was believed to have been living in the Houston area at the time and lost contact with her family in December 1985. 

Associates reported that she possibly sold and used cocaine. 

Prudhomme, who was born in 1957, was believed to be 34 when she was killed. 

The identification of their bodies comes decades after their grisly remains were discovered in the oil field along Calder Road in League City just outside Houston

The identification of their bodies comes decades after their grisly remains were discovered in the oil field along Calder Road in League City just outside Houston

The identification of their bodies comes decades after their grisly remains were discovered in the oil field along Calder Road in League City just outside Houston

Police believe she had been dead six weeks when her body was discovered. Authorities have suggested she died from apparent injuries to her upper spine. 

Prudhomme was last known to have lived in Nassau Bay, Texas in the same year that she was killed.

Detectives believe that Prudhomme frequented several of the local bars in the area near where she lived.

Despite the two women finally being identified, police said their murder cases still remain unsolved. 

Cook and Prudhomme were never officially reported missing by their families.  

Link hienalouca.com

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