Tip submitted about ‘Beth Doe’ found in Carbon
State police are working on a new lead in a “Beth Doe,” an unidentified pregnant woman whose body was found in Carbon County 43 years ago.
The dismembered body parts of an unidentified female victim were found in East Side Borough near the Lehigh River in December 1976. Someone brutally murdered her and abused her corpse.
She was found within days of her death, and she was between 15-25 years old when she died.
“Someone out there knows who she is,” said Trooper Brian Noll of Pennsylvania State Police. “And there is always hope that someone will come forward with information.”
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced this week that police received a tip about a young woman, possibly matching her description, who disappeared in the months before the body was discovered.
According to the center, Madelyn Cruz, who went by Maggie, attended Rockwood Academy in Lenox, Massachusetts, in the early 1970s. After that, she moved to Framingham, Mass., where she lived with a foster family. In 1974, when she was around 16 years old she ran away to Tarrytown, New York.
In 1976, Cruz called a friend and told her she was pregnant and needed money. That was reportedly the last time she was heard from.
On Dec. 20, 1976, a 14-year-old boy discovered a human head in East Side Borough, near the Lehigh River. Police then found three suitcases nearby, containing the victim’s body. The suitcases were found directly below the bridge carrying westbound Interstate 80 over the Lehigh River. They believe the suitcases were thrown from the bridge down to the location where they were found.
“This would be an unusual case for any area based on the ghastly nature of the murder,” Noll said. “The area where she was found is very rural and quiet and there have not been any cases that are believed to be related in the area.”
According to NCMEC, two of the suitcases were blue with a red white and blue stripe, and one was blue tartan with brown leather sides. A pink bedspread was also found in the suitcases.
Police said “Beth Doe” stood between 4-foot-11 and 5-foot-4, weighed 140-150 pounds and had brown hair.
At the time of her death, she was in the third trimester of her pregnancy, carrying a baby girl.
Police said she also suffered from extensive tooth decay.
In 2015, the NCMEC created composite images of what the victim’s face might have looked like based on information collected in 1976 and follow-up inquiries.
“We are asking the public if they have any knowledge of the possible identity of Beth Doe or any information that may help lead to her identification or a possible suspect to contact the Pennsylvania State Police,” says Noll.
Anyone with information about Maggie Cruz or “Beth Doe” is asked to call state police at 570-220-8475, or National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).