After nearly three decades, authorities have finally been able to figure out the identify of a girl whose body was found about six miles from downtown Detroit.

Forensic Investigators Unravel Decades-Old Mystery

The body of an unidentified female was discovered in May of 1996 but investigators were unable to determine the identity of the girl. Advancements in DNA and genealogical testing had yet to be made, and the girl's remains were dubbed a Jane Doe.

More than 27 years later, the body was identified as that of Mindy Clevidence, who was 17 years old at the time of her death.

Forensic investigators with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) worked with the Highland Park Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office in order to make a positive identification.

Carol Schweitzer manages the NCMEC's forensic services unit. She says her department was grateful for the local police agencies' cooperation.

"No matter how long it takes, we know that the answers can be found," she said.


Genealogical Testing Advancements Made Identification Possible

As of October 2015, investigators still had no idea who the body belonged to. The body was exhumed so more advanced forensic tests could be performed.

In May of 2023, with still no identification, NCMEC worked with law enforcement and facilitated getting the case submitted to Intermountain Forensics who were successful in developing a reliable DNA data file.

That data file was then submitted to genealogists with Innovative Forensic Investigators who were able to complete the research.

Earlier this summer, genetic genealogy led to a positive identification, linking the Jane Doe's remains to Mindy Clevidence.

Highland Park Girl's Death Ruled a Homicide

Now that the girl's identity has been determined, Highland Park Police say it's time to get to work to find out who killed Mindy Clevidence.

Highland Park Police Chief James McMahon hasn't lost hope.

"It’s been more than 27 years since her murder, but I believe someone has information that could lead to the arrest of her killer," he said. "We ask if you have any information regarding Mindy's case please contact The Highland Park Police Department."

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Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

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Midland's John Pratt Mosaic House

Just outside of Midland is the childhood home of gifted artist John Pratt. The home is adorned with shimmering bits of broken glass, china, and mirrored tiles that create a window into Pratt's creative soul.

Pratt suffered from mental illness and as part of his recovery, decorated the outside walls of the home with murals that, in the words of this website, "represented his illness, his re-discovered zest for living, and his beliefs about tolerance and unconditional love."

Since his death, the home has been owned and maintained by Creative 360 which offers guided tours of the premises. Our thanks to Ashley Cottrell who provided the pictures below.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

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