When Violet Soosay’s aunt went missing in 1979, she made a promise to her grandmother that she would find her daughter and bring her home.
At a women’s conference in 2020, Soosay spoke about her search and her hope for closure. Just four days later, a Facebook post caught her attention.
The post was from the DNA Doe Project — an American non-profit that uses genetic genealogy to identify cold case victims — and it was trying to identify an Indigenous woman who had been murdered in Kern County, Calif. The woman had been stabbed to death and her body was found in an almond orchard on July 14, 1980.
Soosay submitted her DNA to a website listed in the post and the match was confirmed within a few weeks.
The homecoming marks the end of her family’s mystery but also illustrates the power of DNA testing and social media —tools that Soosay hopes help others searching for answers.