9/11 victim’s DNA helps police ID remains of teen last seen alive in 1969

NEW YORK — Construction workers breaking up the concrete floor of a Midtown Manhattan basement in 2003 made a gruesome discovery — the remains of a teen girl.

The victim, who had been strangled before being encased, became known as Midtown Jane Doe, a name she would carry for another 21 years.

Thanks to genetic genealogy and the DNA of a 9/11 victim, New York cold case detectives now know who the girl is, NBC New York reported. Patricia Kathleen McGlone of Brooklyn was last seen alive in 1969, when she was 16.

Now investigators hope to determine who killed the teen.

“With any investigation, especially a homicide investigation, the first thing you need to have is a name to the victim, because it gives you a starting point,” Detective Ryan Glas told the news station.

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The Hell’s Kitchen basement where McGlone’s remains were found once housed Steve Paul’s The Scene, a famed music venue where icons Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were known to play. The club shut down in the summer of 1969, the same year that McGlone vanished.

McGlone grew up in a Catholic family living in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, the NBC affiliate reported. Details of her disappearance were not immediately available.

Nothing more was heard of the teen until Feb. 10, 2003, when construction workers preparing the building for demolition cracked open a slab of concrete.

“They were knocking through the concrete floor (and) a skull rolled out,” Glas said.

According to the Doe Network, the victim was wrapped in a rust-colored carpet before she was buried. Her hands and feet were bound with an extension cord that was then circled around her neck.

“She was hogtied with electrical cord and the remains that were found were exactly how she was. She was in the fetal position,” Glas told NBC New York.

The medical examiner soon determined that McGlone’s death was a homicide, The New York Times reported at the time.

Authorities were able to determine several other things from McGlone’s remains. The expensive dental work she’d had at some point indicated that her family had at least moderate means. Her Doe Network profile states that her teeth also showed significant decay, however, meaning she had likely suffered some financial hardship later in her short life.

The only clothing found were McGlone’s underwear, along with some fragments of glittery clothing, according to the website.

Investigators also found a 1966 Bulova watch and a gold ring engraved with the initials “PMcG.” The watch and a 1960s dime found with the remains gave a rough time frame of when the victim may have been placed in the concrete.

A plastic toy soldier indicated that the girl may have given birth to a child sometime before her death, the Doe Network reported.

Authorities were not able to determine with certainty when McGlone was killed. They believe it was within a couple of years of her disappearance.

“Police say the building was used by prostitutes and that the basement could be reached from several points inside, as well as through a steel trap door in an adjacent parking lot,” the website states.

Detectives tried several things over the years to identify Midtown Jane Doe, including an August 2004 segment on “America’s Most Wanted,” the New York Daily News reported. All efforts proved fruitless.

Then genetic genealogy came about.

“We used forensic investigative genealogy to produce that family tree under the Forensics Investigations Divisions at the NYPD Crime Lab,” Glas told the New York Post. “That hit came back in early 2023.”

The Post reported that the family tree linked McGlone to a 90-year-old woman in Florida who is a distant maternal cousin of the slain girl. The woman told detectives she recalled her sister babysitting young cousins when she lived in Brooklyn in the 1960s.

Investigators believe one of those children was McGlone, who, if she had lived, would now be 71 years old.

Glas told the newspaper that information from the Florida relative put the investigation back in New York, where they found a second, startling DNA connection.

Detectives were able to confirm McGlone’s identity after linking her to the family of a woman killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks — who was also named Patricia. Authorities have not identified the 9/11 victim or said how she was related to McGlone.