Monterey police are reopening the case of a young Pacific Grove woman whose skeletal remains were discovered two weeks ago near where she was last seen 28 years ago in Monterey.
A land surveyor found the remains of Jennifer Lynn Morris on Aug. 18 down a ravine in a heavily overgrown and wooded area that runs between southbound state Highway 1 and the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey, according to Monterey police Lt. Leslie Sonni.
Along with Morris' remains, police also found evidence indicating she was murdered, Sonni said.
"Whatever happened to her, it happened to her at the time she went missing," she added.
The area where Morris' remains were found is near where she was last seen on Jan. 24, 1983 making a purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue. The store is no longer there.
The following day, when her family reported her missing, investigators searched the area but all they found was Morris' 1977 Ford Pinto in the shopping center parking lot.
The investigation into her disappearance has not yielded any results over the years.
"It was a case of someone vanishing without a trace," Sonni said.
She said even though there was no evidence of foul play, the mysterious circumstances behind her disappearance led detectives to suspect that she was a victim of foul play.
Now the case is being reclassified as a homicide and investigators will backtrack on the case and apply new technology to recover any evidence that could lead to the identity of the suspect, Sonni said.
At the time she disappeared Morris was a part-time student who was living at home. Sonni said Morris' father took a leave of absence from work to help find her and became so distraught he could not return to work. Both he and Morris' mother have since passed away.
Police have contacted Morris' two elder brothers after finding her remains.
"They were pretty shocked and are trying to come to grips with it," Sonni said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Mike Bruno at (831) 646-3812 or a confidential tip line at (831) 646-3840.