Forensic Testing Helps Identify Woman Found Near Lake Thunderbird In 2008
News 6 - September 1, 2022 1:31 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY –
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) announced that a woman found partially buried on August 31, 2008 near Lake Thunderbird is identified as Angela Mason. Mason, who was 25 at the time, was found partially decomposed in a shallow grave at 120th and Alameda. She was discovered by several fishermen, and a Park Ranger requested OSBI assistance with the investigation.
“It is a great day when we can give a victim their name back,” said Aungela Spurlock, OSBI Director. “Utilizing Forensic Genetic Genealogy is an investment and is unfortunately not possible to use on every cold case. But for Angela, the investment paid off. Now our team will continue to work to get Angela the justice she deserves.”
In August 2021, having exhausted all investigative leads, retiring Director Rick Adam approved the case for genetic genealogy testing. Criminalists from the OSBI Forensic Science Center sent DNA from Mason’s remains to Parabon Nanolabs in an effort to locate relatives. Parabon returned results in March of 2022 identifying a possible relative. Special Agents contacted the relative and asked for a DNA sample to compare to the victim. The results came back positively identifying Anglea Mason as the deceased. With this critical information, OSBI agents and analysts have intensified their investigative efforts to determine what happened to Mason.
Numerous attempts had been made since Mason was found to identify her including releasing images of her distinctive tattoo, entering her information into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), adding her case to the OSBI Cold Case Cards, reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to review their missing persons cases, and releasing forensic sketches. The most recent sketch was released in May 2021 and utilized advanced composite software to generate the image.
At the time Mason’s remains were located, the Medical Examiner believed they were those of a white female, possibly with Native American heritage, who was approximately 5’5”, between 30 and 45 years old, and had at least one child. ME investigators believed she had been buried in the shallow grave between three and 15 months prior to her discovery.
Mason was 5’6” and was a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She attended Putnam City West High School, was married twice, and had four children. She was last seen in Moore, Oklahoma in the spring of 2008.
Special Agents from the OSBI are investigating her death as a homicide. Agents returned to the location where Mason was found in June 2022 to reprocess the scene. At that time, they located and collected additional evidence.
If you knew Angela Marie (Richards) Mason or have any information on her death, please contact the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or email [email protected]. You can remain anonymous.