Answers Still Needed After DNA Identifies Tulsa Woman Missing Since 1981
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - A cold case investigation has some closure after authorities announced they identified the body of a Tulsa woman who disappeared decades ago.
Francine Frost was a wife and mother of two when she disappeared February 16, 1981, at age 44. Authorities found her car the next day, parked outside a grocery store near her home - the keys still in the driver's side lock.
The process of trying to match her DNA with an unidentified body began almost exactly one year ago.
Her family had heard someone found the remains in Muskogee County two years after Frost disappeared. They got a court order to exhume those remains.
Vernon Martin, the superintendent of Green Hill Cemetery, helped make it happen.
He said there are about 1,400 unidentified bodies buried there - many of them dating back before statehood.
He took us back to the plot where Frosts remains stayed for more than 30 years before they were finally identified.
"This is actually greater than the pay that you receive in this job, the people that we come across on a daily basis and able to help them through their loss, whether it's last week, or, in this case, 1981," Martin said.
The remains first went to the Tulsa County Medical Examiner's Office, but because of their age and condition, they had to be shipped to the University of North Texas Center for further testing.
Orvile Loge, Muskogee County's district attorney, said communication was harder back then, so the two investigations never crossed paths until now.
"Back then, it was just a different climate. I'm sad for that, but I'm finally happy that we're able to get the family some answers," he said.
Investigators still don't know how Frost died or how she ended up in Muskogee County. If you have any information, you're asked to call the DA's office or Tulsa Police.