FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Police have confirmed that human remains found in Virginia are those of a teenager who disappeared in 1975.
Patricia Agnes Gildawie, also known as “Choubi,” was 17 years old when she went missing. Decades later, on Sept. 27, 2001, a construction crew found Gildawie’s remains and some clothing near a ditch behind an apartment complex in McLean. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the person died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Earlier this year, cold case detectives started working with Othram, Inc., a company that provides advanced DNA testing and forensic-grade genome sequencing. Othram said that the person who died was white, which was different than initially thought. Testing also identified a half-sister. Detectives found her, and she shared Gildawie’s story with them.
Gildawie was born in France in February 1958 and came to the United States when she was 8 months old. In the early 1970s, she moved to the City of Fairfax.
Before Gildawie disappeared, she was dating an older man who worked at an upholstery store near the intersection of Church Street and Lawyers Road in Vienna, Virginia. Gildawie, who was last seen on Feb. 8, 1975, used to drive a white Cadillac Eldorado with red interior.
Detectives said they still are investigating the case with new information provided by Gildawie’s family.
“Identifying this young woman solves a mystery that has been more than 47 years in the making,” said Ed O’Carroll, Bureau Commander of Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics. “Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases. Advancements in technology have given my Cold Case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”
Anyone with information about the case can submit tips through Fairfax County Crime Solvers. Tips can be submitted anonymously by phone. The phone number is 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477). People also can submit information online or through the P3 Tips app. Anonymous tipsters are eligible to receive cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars.
Anonymous donations through DNASolves covered funding for the testing and identification process.