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Crime - Sacto 911

Woman found dead in Sacramento dumpster fire identified with DNA nearly 2 decades later

Her name is Perrean Gray.

Now nearly two decades after Perrean Gray’s charred body was discovered in a south Sacramento dumpster, Sacramento police investigators hope the critical DNA lead that at long last identified the woman in recent days will point them to the person or people responsible for her death.

Sacramento police officials on Tuesday set the grim scene for Gray’s death at 20 years old. It was early June 29, 2001, 5 a.m., when a Sacramento Fire Department crew was called to a blaze in the 7900 block of 18th Avenue. The Dumpster was fully engulfed. Inside was a woman’s body.

Sacramento police launched a death investigation that over the years turned cold.

But Sacramento homicide investigators turned to a private genealogy laboratory which positively identified the woman as Gray. More investigation revealed that Gray was reported a missing person in San Francisco.

A police spokesperson was not immediately available Tuesday to provide more details. Officials in a prepared statement say only the break in the long-cold case happened recently.

In October, The Bee reported that police had partnered with Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based DNA technology that specializes in DNA phenotyping, to create a composite phoneotype of Gray’s DNA.

Parabon provided police with a composite image of what the victim may have looked like at 25 years old using individual predictions of ancestry, eye and skin color, freckling and face shape based on the evidence collected in 2001.

“Based on DNA evidence, Homicide detectives believe that the death of Perrean Gray is related to her disappearance,” Sacramento police officals said in a Tuesday statement.

Now, with her identity solved, police are asking for the community’s help regarding the circumstances surrounding the case.

Anyone with information can call police dispatchers at 916-264-5471; Sacramento Crime Stoppers at 916-443-4357; or submit an anonymous tip via the free “P3 Tips smartphone” app.

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