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Teen who drowned in motel pool in 1966 identified as Jolaine Hemmy

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:39 PM CST
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PECOS, Texas (KOSA) -For the past 50 plus years, Pecos Police investigators have tried to figure out who drowned in the Roper’s Motel pool back in 1966.

Locals and motel guests found a teen girl dead, floating in the deep end of the pool.

But thanks to 21st-century technology, police are now able to reveal who she is.

Pecos police teamed up with genealogy tech companies and identified the girl this afternoon as Jolaine Hemmy.

Jolaine Hemmy was 17-years old when she drowned at the Roper’s Motel pool on July 5, 1966.

The man she checked in with left, and there was no one else who knew her, so the investigation remained a cold case.

Until now.

Chief Lisa Tarango said with the help of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the genetics companies Gene by Gene and Othram inc – they were finally able to identify her remains.

“It absolutely played a huge role, at least in the identity of who she is. I think if more people in this type of situation with lost family members or identified persons get involved in cases like this and cooperate and submit DNA, I think there would be a huge resolution of missing and unidentified person,” said Tarango.

Tarango said every clue over the years helped lead them to her family.

“Talking to the family last week was like talking to them 50 years ago. The emotion was just as well and just a solid,” said Tarango.

The Pecos police department said this is still an open and active investigation.

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