The Riverside County District Attorney's office identified the remains as belonging to Kathryn Coffey of Baldwin Park. On Jan. 22, 1991, human remains were found at the base of a hill in the area west of Avenue 62 and Madison Street in Thermal, an unincorporated community in Riverside County about four miles southeast of Coachella. Only bones were recovered, leading authorities to say that the remains had been in the desert for a long time. The remains were found two weeks after what would have been Coffey's 37th birthday.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigated the discovery at the time but wasn't able to find any leads and the case went cold.
A cold case investigation began last month investigators met with Coffey's sister to obtain familial DNA. On Aug. 8, the California Department of Justice lab confirmed the remains found in the desert more than three decades ago were Coffey's.
Coffey's family said that she was last known to be in the Indio area around 1989 or 1990.
Now that the remains have been identified, the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team is looking for new leads. Anyone with information about Coffey's death is asked to call investigators at 951-955-2777.