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Bodies exhumed from potter's field in Cumru identified

Women, last seen in 1968, were sisters-in-law from Philadelphia

Bodies identified as two girls

READING, Pa. - Authorities have identified two murdered women whose remains, buried decades ago, were exhumed from their graves in Berks County last fall.

DNA testing done on the remains since they were unearthed from the old potter's field in Cumru Township in October led to the women being identified as Sandra Ann Stiver and Martha Evelyn Stiver, sisters-in-law from Philadelphia, state police and the coroner announced during a news conference Friday afternoon.

The young women, Sandra, then 14, and Martha, then 17, were reported missing in Philadelphia in the summer of 1968, state police said. They were last seen at Frankford and Kensington avenues, according to the Pennsylvania Missing Persons website.

Sandra, who was shot once in the head and five times in the chest and abdomen, was found dead off Route 82 in Caernarvon Township in August 1968, according to the coroner. Her death was ruled a homicide.

The following April, Martha's skeletal remains were found in French Creek State Park, about four miles away from the site of the first discovery. The manner of her death has been listed as undetermined, but the coroner said he believes she was also murdered.

Anyone with information that may shed more light on the case can call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.


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