Berks County cold case homicide victims identified

Pennsylvania State Police report that they have used DNA testing to positively identify the victims in an unsolved homicide investigation which began the summer of 1968 in Union and Caernarvon Twp.

That summer, sister-in-laws 14-year-old Sandra Stiver and 17-year-old Martha Stiver were reported missing to the Philadelphia Police Department. That August, a first unidentified teenage female, now identified as Sandra Stiver, was found in southern Berks County. Cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds, according to a state police report.

In April of 1969, a second body was found, now known to be Martha. Cause of death was undetermined, but investigators believe she was also murdered at or around the same time, according to the police report.

Both bodies were exhumed on Oct. 28-29, 2013 from Potter’s Field in Berks County, and the victims were identified by comparing their DNA with that of family members of the girls, according to the police report.


The remains will be returned to family members by the Berks County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone who has information about the deaths should contact Pa. State Police in Reading at (610)-378-4011.