NATION : Body Exhumed; May Be Heiress

From Times Wire Services

Investigators removed a body from a pauper’s cemetery in the suburb of Willow Springs today and plan to examine it to determine if it is that of candy heiress Helen Brach, who disappeared 13 years ago.

The investigators want to run genetic tests on the body of a woman found dead in the woods near suburban Calumet City in 1978, according to reports in the Chicago Tribune.

Although Cook County Medical Examiner Robert J. Stein concluded in 1978 that the body was not Brach’s, “We developed additional information, which we felt significant enough to warrant a re-examination of the body,” Jerry Singer, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said Monday.

Brach, heiress to the Brach Candy Co. fortune, disappeared when she was 65 in 1977 in Rochester, Minn. Her net worth then was estimated at $17 million. Her estate is now valued at more than $50 million. After she was declared dead in 1984, most of her money went to the Helen Brach Foundation.