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Human Remains from Ocean are Those of California Mom Who Vanished in 1979

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Human remains found in the ocean off of Northern California have been identified as a mother of four who vanished in 1979, authorities announced Thursday.

DNA evidence from one of her children was used to match a femur from 45-year-old Dolores Wulff, who disappeared in the middle of the night from her home in Woodland, northwest of Sacramento, on July 31, 1979, authorities said.

DNA evidence was used to identify the remains of 45-year-old Dolores Wulff, who disappeared in 1979. (Benicia Police Department)

Boaters Found Partial Body

Less than two months later, boaters later found a partial body, including a torso, off the coast of Benicia, authorities said. However, the remains weren’t identified for decades.

Wulff’s husband, Carl Wulff, eventually was charged with her murder but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. He died in 2005.

Case Reopened This Year

The case was reopened in July and DNA was taken from one of Wulff’s children, according to the Benicia Police Department.

California’s Department of Justice notified the department on Tuesday that the DNA sample had confirmed Wulff’s identity.

“This case has haunted my office and, in fact, all of Yolo County since 1979,” Yolo County Sheriff Tom Lopez said in a statement. “Countless hours were spent investigating Dolores Wullf’s disappearance. It is my hope that this provides some closure to the family who has suffered so much.”

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