General Crime

* Napa Murder Remains Found at Lake Berryessa Identified as Johnethel McGehee

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A murdered woman whose remains were found at Lake Berryessa in May has been identified by her daughter as Johnethel McGehee, 47, of the Oakland area, Napa County Sheriff’s Lt. Tracey Stuart said this afternoon. McGehee’s adult daughter called the Napa County Sheriff’s Department on June 23 after she saw media coverage of the facial reconstruction of the victim at a news conference, Stuart said. The sheriff’s department confirmed the woman’s identity through dental records on June 24 but is not disclosing how the woman was killed, Stuart said.  McGehee had ties to San Francisco and East Bay cities, Stuart said. The daughter did not provide any information about how or why her mother went to Lake Berryessa, Stuart said. Authorities said they believed the woman was killed within the last 6 to 12 months, possibly last fall. A sheriff’s department K-9 patrol officer found the victim’s leg bone off state Highway 128 in Napa County near the Monticello Dam on May 10, Detective Todd Hancock said. “He didn’t identify it immediately but he was very suspicious. An expert identified it as a leg bone,” Hancock said. The rest of the woman’s remains was found above ground nearby. The sheriff’s department said the victim as depicted in the facial reconstruction had several physical and external features that make her very identifiable. Bay Area facial reconstruction artist Gloria Nusse created the 3-D sculpture of the woman from the shoulders up. Based on the facial reconstruction, the sheriff’s department said the murder victim was a black woman between 35 and 50 years old. She was 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches with an average build, the sheriff’s department said. The victim had short, curly, natural light-colored hair with a hair weave attached. She had a stud, nose or lip piercing and extensive dental work. Her teeth were in good repair, the sheriff’s department said. The woman had acrylic, French-cut fingernails and was partially clothed in an olive or green-colored, short-sleeve polo-style shirt. A pelvic exam indicated she had at least one child and degeneration of her lower spine suggested she may have had lower back problems, authorities said.

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