Investigators then began trying to determine if Karen had in fact relocated. Karen's family in the Philippines hadn't heard from her since 2002.
That information led Waynesboro investigators to open an involuntary missing persons case in December 2011. Karen's information, including a DNA profile made up of DNA samples from her child and her parents, was entered into several databases including the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
It was in CODIS where investigators found a match linking Karen to an unidentified remains case in West Virginia.
A passerby discovered the remains in September 2002.
Karen was positively identified by dental records from the Philippines and other additional DNA testing. She was 23 at the time of her death.
The state Medical Examiner's office also determined the cause of death as homicide.
The case remains under investigation by Virginia and West Virginia authorities.
Anyone with information may call their local West Virginia State Police detachment or the Waynesboro Police Department at 540-942-6511.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.