Woman Who Died 37 Years Ago After Being Found Unconscious on Ga. Highway Identified as Missing Mom of 4

The identity of a woman who was found unconscious along a Georgia highway nearly four decades ago has finally been confirmed.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced this week that the injured woman discovered on the west side of Highway 91 near Newton, Ga., on May 14, 1985, was Mary Anga Cowan, a mother of four who went by "Angie" and disappeared that same year from Seminole County, Fla.

After a passerby spotted her, the then-unidentified woman as taken to a hospital but died on June 1, 1985, the bureau said in a statement. The examiner's office could not determine how she was injured but listed the cause of death as "subdural hematoma secondary to blunt force trauma to the head."

The GBI said the woman's remains were exhumed in September 2012 to identify her, but a bone fragment sent for analysis produced no leads.

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Mary Anga Cowan
Mary Anga Cowan

Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Last year, the GBI Sylvester Regional Investigative Office, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitted a portion of the remains to the private DNA lab Othram.

After completing the DNA extraction, a profile was generated and given to the FBI for genealogical comparisons.

Agents determined Cowan's identity after the DNA sample came up as a match with one of her children.

"The research yielded a high probability that the unidentified woman was Mary Anga Cowan, aka 'Angie,'" the GBI said in its statement. "Agents obtained DNA from one of Cowan's children and the comparison indicated a parent/child relationship."

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"The assistance of the Baker County Sheriff's Office, Othram, and the FBI Atlanta and Baltimore offices were instrumental in identifying these remains and providing closure for the family," they continued.

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Cowan's daughter, Angelique Hall, told Orlando FOX affiliate WOFL that she held on to the memories she made with her mother as a child.

"I was 10 years old, and she was fun, and she was silly and then one day she was gone," Hall told the outlet.

"I knew she was gone," she added. "And I never imagined they would find her. This is a shock from Georgia finding out that not only her body was found but that a town picked her up out of a ditch and took care of her last days. She was loved, and I hear [she was] buried."