County sheriff’s department helps with cold case

Oswego County Undersheriff Gene Sullivan and the Amherst chief of police announced Friday that the body found washed ashore July 14, 1984 near Oswego was that of a teenaged girl missing from Amherst. The remains of 14-year-old Nancy Jo Scamurra, pictured, were found by a fisherman off the coast of Oswego County 28 years ago.

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department assisted in identifying the body of a deceased in a decades-old case.

Undersheriff Gene Sullivan and the Amherst chief of police announced Friday that the body found washed ashore July 14, 1984 near Oswego was that of a teenaged girl missing from Amherst.

Oswego is 120 miles northeast of Amherst.

The remains of 14-year-old Nancy Jo Scamurra were found by a fisherman off the coast of Oswego County 28 years ago.

Sullivan said that when the torso was originally found, the missing girl was a center of publicity; however, officials could not make a connection because technology did not exist at the time.

At that time, the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office could only say that the preliminary autopsy report revealed that the partial body of a woman had been found and all that could be determined is that it was a white female between five to six feet tall and under age 40, according to the July 17, 1984 issue of The Valley News.

The autopsy had concluded that the death was a homicide, however, the cause of death had not been determined.

Sullivan says the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office contacted Oswego County Sheriff’s Department last year and specifically asked that they retrieve DNA from family members and relatives of the girl.

Within the last two months, officials were able to determine that DNA from the remains matched that of Scamurra.

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