California police ID Ada Beth Kaplan as headless body in vineyard

The mystery of a woman whose headless body was drained completely of blood and dumped in a California vineyard nearly 13 years ago has finally been solved, police announced last week.

Police named 64-year-old Ada Beth Kaplan as the naked, abused and partially decomposed corpse that was discovered in March 2011 in the city of Arvin, according to the Kern County Sheriff.

Kaplan was completely unrecognizable. Besides decapitating the woman and draining her blood, the killer had even taken the time to chop off her thumbs before laying her down on her back on the first roadway.

“This person took their time to pull into this dirt access road, remove the body, place it on the ground, and pose it in what I would consider a sexual manner and wanted the body found like that,” Homicide Sgt. David Hubbard told KGET.

Although they were unable to identify Kaplan, it was clear to detectives that they were looking at a murder victim.

Ada Beth Kaplan, in a old picture, was identified as the headless body found in a California vineyard in 2011. DNA DOE PROJECT

The DNA they were able to scrap up, however, proved useless — there were no hits in any missing persons, crime scene or convicted persons indexes, the sheriff’s office said.

The case went cold for nine years until the Medical Examiner’s Office reached out to the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit that specializes in identifying John and Jane Does using investigative genetic genealogy.

This time, Kaplan’s DNA turned up multiple hits and connected investigators to multiple distant cousins spanning eight generations.

Researchers connected their Jane Doe to a rich Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and combed through hordes of Eastern European records to build a family tree.

Kaplan was never reported missing, making it difficult for police to identify the body. KGET

After comparing her DNA to two potential family members who resided on the East Coast, the team finally had a match.

“Our team worked long and hard for this identification,” Missy Koski, the volunteer group’s team leader, said in a statement.

“Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry is often complicated to unravel. When we brought in an expert in Jewish records and genealogy, that made a huge difference.”

Interviews with Kaplan’s family revealed why she had been so difficult to identify: no one ever filed a missing person report.

Police said Kaplan’s body was laid on the dirt in a “sexual manner.” KGET

The disturbing events leading to her death and the person who killed her, however, remain a mystery.

Kaplan lived nearly 80 miles north of where her body was found, though police do not believe she was murdered at the vineyard.

The deranged murderer or murderers appeared “pretty comfortable committing this crime,” leaving officers baffled and uneasy that they could still be on the loose.

“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Pruitt previously said.

“I’ve seen some pretty gruesome crime scenes and this was just … it was creepy.”


Written by SaleemBaloch

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