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Horrifying “Lady In The Fridge” Victim Identified 30 Years After Her Murder

The "Lady in the Fridge" has been identified nearly three decades after she was found in California.

NBC News says Amanda Lynn Schumann Deza's remains were found in a discarded refrigerator in 1995 in San Joaquin County.

Deza was 29 when she most likely disappeared the previous year.

Deza's identity was discovered through DNA mapping and family history research conducted by Othram Forensics, a private Houston-based laboratory.

The company used new technology to extract hundreds of thousands of genetic markers from DNA evidence, instead of the 20 usually used by law enforcement, and found relatives through those markers, CEO David Mittelman said.

It built a family tree to identify potential known relations, and Deza's mother and daughter were found and helped investigators identify the woman by submitting their own DNA, the company said in a statement.

Her parents want authorities to find and prosecute anyone responsible for Deza's death, which detectives and medical examiner's officials think was caused by blunt force trauma.

Deza had not been reported missing when the remains were found.

Sheriff's officials have said that when the woman was found in March 1995, her body was decomposing and may have been in the refrigerator for months before it was discovered partly submerged in a slough.

Scavengers looking for items to recycle made the discovery, authorities have said.

Deputies and detectives have described the refrigerator as partly submerged and possibly floating.

The location is a tributary of the San Joaquin River known as Whiskey Slough, now the name of a state-run marina but said by legend to have been part of a smuggling route during Prohibition.

The area was also once home to a gas exploration field.

"The family just didn't know" Deza's situation, Withrow said. "She was a 30-year-old woman and out on her own.

Deza was separated from her husband and had three young children, according to Othram. She was last seen at an unknown apartment complex in Napa, accompanied by an unidentified man she may have met at a rehabilitation facility, it said.

The sheriff's top investigator, Lt. Linda Jimenez, said the woman was most likely going through hard times.

"She was involved in some challenging times, like we all have in our lives," she said.

A reward of as much as $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for Deza's murder.

San Joaquin County detectives believe a reconstruction of Deza's last days, most likely in late summer or fall of 1994, will help find former friends and possible witnesses who could lead them to a conclusion or an arrest.

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