Authorities in California have identified the remains of a woman discovered inside an abandoned refrigerator nearly 30 years ago, and are now asking the public for help finding her k*iller in the cold case. 

Amanda Lynn Schumann Deza was 30 years old in March 1995 when scavengers found her body inside a fridge submerged in a canal in Holt, California, a remote community just over an hour east of the San Francisco Bay Area, according to Lieutenant Linda Jimenez, a detective at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. 

Investigators said they believed Deza’s body had been stored in the fridge for at least six months, placing the time of her d*isappearance and d*eath sometime in 1994.

Medical examiners concluded that Deza di*ed from blunt force tr*auma, Jimenez said.

The cold c*ase had been dubbed “the lady in the fridge,” Jimenez said. 

New technology helped Identified Deza

“We have recognized her using contemporary technology, just as it is currently occurring throughout the nation and state,” San Joaquin Sheriff Patrick Withrow stated during a press conference last week.

Working with Othram Inc., a forensic genealogy firm that assists in resolving cold cases, the office generated a lead for detectives in 2022. Subsequently, Othram stated in a post on its website, the authorities acquired DNA samples from both Deza’s mother and daughter. The DNA was a match.

Deza’s life c*ircumstances still a mystery

The company stated in its post that it had spoken with the family and that she was last seen at an undisclosed apartment complex in the city of Napa with an unidentified male that she met in a rehabilitation facility. The firm also mentioned that Deza had three small children and was divorced from her husband at the time of her disappearance.

Still, investigators said there is a lot they don’t know about Deza’s life before she was killed. They are hoping that people who knew her will come forward and give them even a small glimpse into her life.

“If you don’t know who the victim is, it’s hard to figure out who killed them,” Jimenez said.

Withrow said that no report of a missing person was ever made, and her family was shocked when they found out that her body had been found.

The woman was thirty years old, living her own life, and she was alone. “So the family didn’t know.”

Officials said there was a $10,000 reward for information that led to the arrest of her k*iller.

The sheriff’s office asked anyone with information to call (209) 468-5087 or email and talk to their cold case unit.

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