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Bodies found in Pennsylvania in 1968 ID'd as Philadelphia missing teens

Man whose teenage wife and sister disappeared in 1968 in Philadelphia says he always thought "they're going to come through the door."
By Frances Burns   |   July 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM   |   Comments

READING, Pa., July 7 (UPI) -- The bodies of two women found 50 miles from Philadelphia have been identified as two teenagers who vanished in 1968.

Officials said DNA testing has confirmed the identities of Sandra Stiver, 14, and her sister-in-law, Martha Stiver, 17. The Berks County coroner believes both were victims of homicide.

In 1968, neither their family nor investigators linked the two bodies, discovered eight months apart in Berks County, with the two teens who had been reported missing in Philadelphia. Sandra Stiver found on a roadside in Caernarvon, had been shot multiple times, while the body of Martha Stiver dumped in French Creek State Park, was too decomposed to determine the cause of death.

Tom Stiver, who was married to Martha, said at a news conference Monday the family never stopped the search for his wife and sister.

"Years go by and you just think they're going to come through the door, and they never come," he said.

The Berks County coroner exhumed the bodies last year in an effort to use forensic techniques not available in 1968 to identify them.

Now family members hope someone will come forward to provide information on who killed the two teens.

Hazel Demos, Sandra's sister, said the family concentrated the search on Philadelphia, that it never occurred to them that the two teens might have been dumped outside the city.

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