Jewell “Lalla” Langford, a prominent American businesswoman, was found floating in a Canadian river in 1975.
Nearly half a century after the body of a woman was discovered floating in a river in Ottawa, Canada’s authorities have been able to determine the identity of the lady who was the victim of one of the country’s most renowned unsolved homicides. The remains were identified as belonging to Jewell “Lalla” Langford, a citizen of Tennessee who was 48 years old at the time of her death. Prior to this, the remains were known as the “Nation River Lady,” after the name of the river where her body was discovered in 1975.
On Wednesday, the Ontario Provincial Police confirmed that the remains belonged to Jewell “Lalla” Langford. In a news release, the Jackson, Tennessee police department referred to Langford as “a prominent member of the Jackson, Tennessee business community.” While she was still alive, Langford had co-owned a wellness spa with her ex-husband. According to the police, Langford had went to Montréal in April 1975, and after that point, he never returned home again. A farmer discovered her body about a month later, on May 3rd, in the Nation River where she had been floating.
According to the findings of the DNA Doe Project, she had been bound with men’s neckties at the hands and ankles, and she had also been strangled with a television cable. Despite forensic artist’s renderings and a three-dimensional facial approximation created in 2017 to help identify Langford’s remains, authorities were unable to move the case forward until 2020, when genome sequencing performed at Toronto’s Centre for Forensic Sciences matched a DNA profile of the victim to two other people listed in a family DNA tree.
This allowed the authorities to move forward with the investigation. According to the police, the investigation into the death in Langford is thought to be the first time human remains have been identified using forensic genealogy in Canada. In this respect, she truly was a woman ahead of her time,” said Janice Mulcock, a retired detective constable with the Ontario Provincial Police, during a videotaped briefing that was released on Facebook by the police department early on Wednesday morning. The video was posted by the police department. “In fact, she was so successful that she was elected chair and president of the American Businesswomen’s Association chapter in Jackson, Tennessee, and in 1971 she was chosen as “woman of the year” by her peers.”