Sheriff’s office hopes Nancy Jo Scamurra cold case reminder jogs memories


It was July 1, 1984 when Nancy Jo Scamurra went missing.

The then 14-year-old was last seen walking alone in the late evening hours of July 1 in the area of Scamridge Curve and Evanshire Lane in her hometown of Amherst, outside Buffalo.

Police believe she may have been walking the family’s German shepherd dog, which returned home.

On the 30th anniversary of her disappearance, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office is bringing the cold case to the public eye again in hopes someone remembers seeing something, hearing something that could be helpful in the case.

 Today, the cold case investigation into what happened to Scamurra continues to be conducted by members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office because her body was found here.

On  July 14, 1984, members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Division recovered a female torso from the waters of Lake Ontario several miles northeast of the Oswego Harbor after a local fisherman discovered the body floating in the water.

At the time, an autopsy conducted by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the torso, that had been dismembered and decapitated, was that of a murder victim.

Despite investigative efforts, the body remained unidentified. In the years that followed, the victim had been compared with numerous missing women from throughout the United States and Canada, none of which resulted in a match.

 Several years ago, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Investigators asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to attempt to recover DNA from the remains of the victim and compare them to DNA from missing persons and/or their family members on file in the Combined DNA Index System.

During late 2011, the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office called sheriff’s investigators to ask that the victim’s DNA be compared with Scamurra.

Oswego County Sheriff’s investigators and Amherst Police detectives subsequently communicated and detectives sought and obtained DNA samples from family members of Nancy Jo Scamurra for comparison with DNA from the recovered victim.

The testing confirmed that the torso recovered from Lake Ontario on July 14, 1984 was that of Nancy Jo Scamurra.

 Despite the positive identification and continued investigation, the mystery surrounding Scamurra’s disappearance, murder, dismemberment and decapitation, remains unsolved.

 In an effort to bring justice to Nancy Jo Scamurra, anyone with any information involving this investigation is asked to contact the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office at 349-3411 or (888) 349-3411 or to e-mail

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