Remains found in 1997 in Lake Michigan ID’d as Chicago woman

Jan 8, 2023, 7:45 PM | Updated: Jan 9, 2023, 10:04 am

MANISTEE COUNTY, Mich. (AP) — Human remains found in 1997 along Lake Michigan’s shoreline in western Michigan have been identified as those of a Chicago woman last seen weeks earlier at a Wisconsin beachfront park, police said Monday.

Forensic experts relying on advanced DNA analyses confirmed in December that the remains are those of Dorothy Lynn (Thyng) Ricker, Michigan State Police said.

“Although DNA testing wasn’t possible when Dorothy Ricker died, investigators are grateful that it brings her family some resolution today,” police said in a news release.

Ricker, then 26, was last seen on Oct. 2, 1997, sitting on a bench at a Wisconsin lakefront park by officers with the St. Francis Police Department. She told the officers “she was from Chicago and was ‘enjoying the lakefront and the sun,'” state police said.

The next day, an abandoned vehicle was found nearby and its license plate came back as belonging to a person listed as “missing/endangered” by the Chicago Police Department. That information was not known at the time the officers spoke to Ricker, state police said.

On Oct. 27, 1997, human remains were found along the lake in western Michigan’s Manistee County. An autopsy found that person died from asphyxia due to accidental drowning but the remains could not be identified.

The remains were exhumed in 2020 and bone samples were sent to Astrea Forensics under the DNA Doe Project for Forensic Genetic Genealogy, state police said. The next year, police informed about a possible genetic link to the Thyng family of Acton, Maine.

DNA samples were obtained from a possible brother of Ricker and also a possible daughter of Ricker who was living in Chicago, police said.

Because Ricker’s badly degraded bone samples were unsuitable for “traditional testing,” they were sent to Intermountain Forensics in Salt Lake City, Utah, for an advanced analysis that eventually helped confirm they belonged to Ricker.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
9 hours ago
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin, left, and Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson attend a jo...
Associated Press

Nordic PMs: Keep calm, we still plan to join NATO together

STOCKHOLM (AP) — In a strong show of unity, the prime ministers of Finland and Sweden on Thursday called for calm amid tensions with Turkey over their applications to become NATO members and reaffirmed their intent to have the two countries join the military alliance at the same time. A series of recent demonstrations in […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

US ambassador’s views on Hungary ‘irrelevant,’ minister says

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Hungarian foreign minister accused the United States ambassador to Budapest on Thursday of trying to interfere in Hungary’s internal affairs, amid a growing diplomatic rift between the U.S. and the Central European country. At a news conference in Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto lashed out at comments in Politico this […]
1 day ago
Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog,...
Associated Press

Beyond Phil: Other rodents that purport to ‘predict’ weather

Rodents predicting weather trends. Why? Just as fair a Groundhog Day question, though, is this: Why not? And more importantly, why should Punxsutawney Phil always get to, well, hog the press? The spring-heralding (or spring-delaying) small animal has taken firm root in some swaths of American culture. And while Phil and his Pennsylvania ilk are […]
1 day ago
FILE - National Economic Council director Brian Deese listens as President Joe Biden speaks about e...
Associated Press

Biden’s top economic aide leaving White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, is leaving his post. Biden said Thursday in a statement that Deese would step down as director of the White House National Economic Council. That position had him coordinating policy across the government and negotiating with Congress on coronavirus aid, the budget, infrastructure, the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Remains found in 1997 in Lake Michigan ID’d as Chicago woman