Las Vegas police identify homicide victim in 44-year-old cold case

A female victim has been identified in a 1979 homicide cold case, Las Vegas police announced Tuesday.

Gwenn Marie Story was killed in the summer of 1979, police said. Her body was found on the night of Aug. 14, 1979, when a man walking through an open field near Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard found a woman’s body lying in the dirt.

Police found she was dead.

An autopsy ruled the death to be a homicide, police said. Investigators were unable to identify the woman, whom they called Sahara Sue Doe.

The case remained unsolved and was assigned to the Homicide Cold Case Section, police said, until September 2022, when investigators requested a forensic genetic genealogy investigation.

Gwenn Marie Story.
Gwenn Marie Story.LVMPD

Breaks in the case led investigators to possible family members who provided DNA samples for comparison with the woman’s, police said.

Over a year later, on Nov. 15, “Sahara Sue Doe had been positively identified through DNA as Gwenn Marie Story,” police said.

Story’s relatives helped detectives piece the story together.

Story, who was 19 when she was killed, left the Cincinnati area in the summer of 1979 with two male friends. Police said she was traveling to California to try to find her biological father.

The friends returned to Ohio in August 1979 and told Story’s family that they had left her in Las Vegas, police said.

Family members told police that they never heard from Story again after she left Ohio that summer.

The Homicide Cold Case Section continues to investigate, and it encouraged anyone with information about Story or the two male friends to contact it.