16 years later: Human skull identified as Oklahoma woman

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KIOWA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – More than 16 years after a human skull was discovered in Kiowa County, officials say they have now identified the victim.

On July 13, 2005, a farmer in Kiowa County called the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office after finding a skull on his land. No other human remains were found.

“That’s when we were called in to investigate who that was and what happened to that person,” Brook Arbeitman, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said.

At the time, investigators could only determine the skull belonged to a woman between 18 and 29 years old. They also determined that she had been deceased between three and 20 years.

Over the years, officials created a facial reconstruction and used DNA analysis to compare it to other missing women in Oklahoma.

‘Kiowa Jane Doe’ skull recreation made by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

She became known as ‘Kiowa Jane Doe.’

In September of 2021, the University of North Texas notified the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that a DNA profile finally matched the skull.

“DNA was a thing in 2005, but as time goes by, advances are made even in DNA science. You’re able to work with smaller and smaller samples and use different databases to help identify people,” Arbeitman said. “We worked with UNT to help extract a workable DNA sample from the skull to help identify her.”

Now, after almost 20 years, OSBI investigators are identifying ‘Kiowa Jane Doe.’

Rebecca Boyd
Rebecca Jean Boyd, OSBI

“Kiowa Jane Doe has a name. She is Rebecca Jean Boyd and she has a family that loves and misses her,” said Ricky Adams, OSBI Director. “We are happy that Rebecca’s family has her back and can give her the proper burial that she deserves. Now our Cold Case Unit is going to determine how she ended up in that field and who is responsible.”

Rebecca Jean Boyd was last seen in Lawton on July 26, 2002.

Boyd had been living in Muskogee with a relative but was known to visit the Lawton area to see family. 

“She was last seen a few days before she was reported missing by her then-husband, who they were getting a divorce at the time. They had seen each other and when he hadn’t heard from her, other relatives hadn’t heard from her in a few days, he reported her missing. That was in July of 2002,” Arbeitman said.

Rebecca Boyd
Rebecca Boyd, OSBI

She was 29 years old and the mother of two small children.

“I can’t imagine 16 years go by and not knowing what happened to your mom, not knowing where she is,” Arbeitman said. “It’s hard because you know she’s gone. But at least they have answers now… We’re gonna try to figure out how she died.”

If you have any information on Rebecca Jean Boyd’s disappearance, please contact the OSBI at 800-522-8017 or tips@osbi.ok.gov. You can remain anonymous.   

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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