ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) effort to learn the identities of dozens of sets of human remains has led to the identification of a long-unknown murder victim in Wisconsin.
DNA tests have now identified a body discovered in November 1993 in Dresser, Wisconsin, as Pearline Roberta Walton, DOB 12-23-1970, of Minneapolis. Walton was last seen in the Twin Cities in early summer 1993. Since the discovery of her remains two decades ago, Polk County (Wisconsin) Sheriff’s Office investigators have been attempting to learn her identity as part of their investigation into her death.
Investigators urge anyone with information about Walton’s activities in 1993 or with information about the circumstances of her death to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 715-485-8366.
“This case has remained open since 1993, and will remain open until we are satisfied that a final legal resolution has been obtained,” said Polk County Sheriff Pete Johnson. “We now know who she is, which is a very important step for the investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.”
The BCA identified Walton during the course of its effort to learn the identities of dozens of sets of unidentified human remains in Minnesota. The BCA in May reached out to Minnesotans whose loved ones were missing. Walton’s family was the first to come forward to provide DNA. Walton’s family is choosing to deal with this news about their loss privately at this time.
“The BCA is committed to supporting local agencies in their efforts to bring resolution to unsolved cases and to try to provide some answers to families with missing loved ones. That’s why we’re asking families to come forward,” said BCA Superintendent Wade Setter.
Families whose loved ones are missing are urged to contact the BCA to provide a DNA sample to be compared with DNA from unidentified remains in Minnesota as well as around the country. Many of these people were discovered decades ago when DNA testing was not available.
Steps to be Taken by Families with Missing Relatives
Contact Minnesota Missing & Unidentified Persons Clearinghouse manager Kris Rush firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-793-1118. Be sure to have the missing person’s name and date of birth. The BCA will confirm that a missing person report is on file with the local law enforcement agency, and that the information was entered into the FBI’s NCIC missing person file. You will then be guided through the necessary steps, including:
- Provide a DNA sample (cheek swab) and sign a consent form.
- If available, provide dental records, photos and any items which may contain the missing person’s DNA (toothbrush).
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) provides investigative and specialized law enforcement services to prevent and solve crimes in partnership with law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice agencies. Services include the Missing and Unidentified Persons Clearinghouse (https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/bca-divisions/administrative/Pages/missing-unidentified-persons.aspx), criminal justice training, forensic laboratory analysis, criminal histories and investigations.