Remains of Swedish exchange student missing since 1982 identified

Remains found in Bay Area creek bed identified as those of woman missing for 33 years

A 33-year mystery over the disappearance of a Swedish exchange student in the Bay Area has finally ended, with the Alameda County coroner confirming bones found in a creek bed were those of Elisabeth Martinsson.

Martinsson was 22 when she disappeared in Marin County in 1982. The remains were positively identified through dental records, the Alameda County coroner said Tuesday.

Investigators found Martinsson’s skull, teeth and more than 40 bones in a Fremont creek off Morrison Canyon Road in 2010, but the remains were only recently positively identified, Alameda County coroner’s Lt. Riddic Bowers said.

Martinsson was going to school in Marin and working as a nanny when she disappeared, the Marin Independent-Journal reported. She had borrowed her host family’s car and was never seen again.

The car was found more than a week later in Oklahoma, but no one was ever arrested in Martinsson’s death, the paper reported. A cause of death was not determined.

Martinsson’s remains were cremated and will be sent back to family in Sweden, Bowers said.

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