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 Dawn Marie Birnbaum

Dawn Marie Birnbaum

Birth
Indiana, USA
Death 23 Mar 1993 (aged 16–17)
Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Unknown if Correct Cemetery
Memorial ID 9271441 · View Source
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She ran away from the Elan school in Poland Springs, Maine on 3/21/1993. Her body was found by a motorist in a snowbank between Pennsylvania State Route 550 and Route 26 on March 24, 1993. The discovery touched off a nationwide manhunt for her killer by Federal, State & Local Law Enforcement. This case was profiled on the TV show, America's Most Wanted by John Walsh (whose son had been abducted & murdered). Using forensics and plaster casts of tire tracks left in the snow by a semi-tractor trailer, police and the FBI with AMW's help, were eventually able to trace the unit to a Ohio trucking company and the individual driver, James Cruz, Jr.
Subsequent search warrents found a single strand of the girl's hair in the passenger seat of the cab and DNA evidence proved conclusively (600 million to 1) that he had sex with the girl. Log books placed him in that area at the time of the discovery. Cruz was subsequently arrested, tried and convicted and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A string of unsolved young women's murders and body dumpings along his regular trucking route suddenly ended with his arrest. The other murder cases remain open and have never been solved.
The citizens of Centre County and the Borough of Bellefonte adopted her as one of their own and arranged for an appropriate burial for this young woman whom the local Funeral Home had named "Spring Dawn" before her true identity was discovered.

http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/serialarchive/Cruz.html


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  • Created by: db
  • Added: 5 Aug 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9271441
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dawn Marie Birnbaum (1976–23 Mar 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9271441, citing Union Cemetery, Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by db (contributor 46607109) .