April 29, 2016
LOS ANGELES 2016 (AFP) - A Canadian woman stabbed to death in Los Angeles around the time and place of the infamous Manson murders has been identified 46 years later, authorities and her family said.
Known for nearly half a century only as "Jane Doe 59," the murder victim was publicly identified Wednesday by Los Angeles police and her sister as Reet Jurvetson.
Her body was discovered in the brush off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles mid-November 1969, shortly after she arrived in the city.
The 19-year-old had been stabbed over 150 times in the upper torso and neck, according to police.
Her identity remained a mystery until a family friend in June 2015 recognized her photograph while browsing the US national database for unidentified missing and deceased persons.
A test comparing the victim's DNA to Jurvetson's sister living in Canada confirmed her identity.
Her sister Anne described Reet as a young woman who had "developed a taste for adventure and freedom, all the while being naive and trusting of others."
"Reet was a lovely, free-spirited and happy girl. She was very artistic, drew well, and liked to sew her own clothes," said Anne, who is also the last living member of Reet's immediate family.
Her wanderlust brought her to California as the 1960s were coming to a close.
"Initially, we believed that Reet was probably in search of more autonomy, and therefore we waited for her to get in touch with us," Anne said.
"As months and then years passed, we imagined that she was making a new life for herself.
"However, not once did we suspect that she had been killed."
Reet Jurvetson was born in Sweden, the youngest child of refugees who fled Estonia during the Second World War and later moved to Montreal.
Because her body was found only a few miles from and a few months after the infamous Manson murder spree, police interviewed Charles Manson in prison to try to "rule out any possible connection" to Reet's killing.
"Their encounter with Manson did not produce anything fruitful and the investigation remains open and ongoing," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.
Authorities are now asking the public for help in identifying a friend of Reet Jurvetson whom she met in Montreal and traveled with to the United States. His name is John or Jean, police said.