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DNA helps identify 2 women found dead in Texas ‘killing fields’ decades ago

FOX News logo FOX News 5 days ago Robert Gearty

For years cold case detectives in League City, Tex., knew Audrey Cook, left, and Donna Prudhomme, right, as Jane and Janet Doe. Cops believe they were the victims of a serial killer. © League City Police Department For years cold case detectives in League City, Tex., knew Audrey Cook, left, and Donna Prudhomme, right, as Jane and Janet Doe. Cops believe they were the victims of a serial killer. Cold case detectives on Monday announced a breakthrough in identifying two women believed killed by a serial killer decades ago in Texas.

League City police said DNA and genetic genealogy helped them identify the women whose bodies were found in an abandoned oil field where two other murdered women were found.

The four victims were found between 1984 and 1991 and the area where the discoveries occurred is known as the “killing fields,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

Over the years, cops called the two unidentified women Jane and Janet Doe.

At Monday’s news conference, League City police chief Gary Ratliff identified Jane Doe as 32-year-old Audrey Cook, of Memphis, Tenn. and Janet Doe as 34-year-old Donna Prudhomme, of Port Arthur, Tex.

Police said the families of the two women have been informed of the news.

“We’ve had some emotional conversations with the family members,” Lt. Michael Buffington said. “This has been not unlike telling someone their family member was murdered yesterday.”

Detectives found relatives of Cook and Prudhomme after uploading their DNA to the genealogy website FamilyTreeDNA.

The FBI suspects a serial killer in the four homicides, the Houston Chronicle reported in 1993.

Police said the other two victims are Heidi Fye and Laura Miller. Fye, 25, of League City, had been missing about six months when police found her body in April 1984. Two kids riding bikes found Miller’s body in February 1986. Miller was a 16-year-old runaway from League City who had been reported missing five months earlier.

Investigators stumbled on Cook’s body as they were investigating the Miller case. She was last seen two months earlier. She had been shot in the back of the head with a small caliber weapon, according to police -- who have not revealed how the others died. Police found Prudhomme’s body in September 1991. She had been last heard from two months earlier.

"We have girls with similar appearances and similar hair color. The area where the bodies are being left [is similar]. The girls are all left nude," League City Sgt. Pat Bittne told the Austin American Statesman in 1993.

Buffington said police are hoping to learn more about Cook and Prudhomme as they continue to work the cold case.

“We want to hear from people who knew these girls before they went missing,” he said.

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