How Police Identified Severed Head After 24-Year Mystery

Mar 28, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

March 28, 2013 ABC News

A severed head found on a golf course 24 years ago has been identified using DNA evidence and may be linked to a serial killer, New Jersey police said today.

The head of 25-year-old Heidi Balch, who worked as a prostitute around Manhattan in 1988, was found on a Hopewell Township, N.J., golf course, in 1989, but was only identified this month after collaboration between the New Jersey State Police and the Hopewell Township Police Department.

"It was shocking," said Hopewell Township Police Chief George Meyer, who was one of the detectives called to the scene after the head was found near the seventh hole.

"Periodically, over the years, detectives would pick up the case and make efforts at identifying her," he said. "I kind of thought, 'No, she is never going to be identified.'"

A break came when detectives realized the dumped head matched a story from serial killer Joel Rifkin, who claimed to have dismembered and dumped a victim named Susie around New Jersey, State Police Det. Sgt. Stephen Urbanski told ABCNews.com. Rifkin was never convicted for the alleged crime, but is serving 200 years in prison for other murders.

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