Forensic genetic genealogy points to Henry Fredrick “Hoss” Wise as the killer of Stacey Lyn Chahorski, a teenage girl from Norton Shores, Muskegon County, Michigan, United States. This was announced at Georgia Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia, USA on September 6, 2022.
Rising Fawn Jane Doe
At around 2:00 p.m. on December 16, 1988, two Georgia Department of Transportation workers found a woman’s body along the east side of northbound I-59 near Rising Fawn, Dade County, Georgia, which is about five miles from the Alabama state line. She had been sexually assaulted and fatally strangled.
The body was beyond recognition. The killer’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was found on the scene.
The woman was wearing a yellow gold chain, a white gold pinkie navy blue thermal knit, long-sleeved pullover shirt, a navy blue bra, a pair of blue Calvin Klein jeans, a pair of black lace-up, ankle-high shoes. She was buried in an unmarked grave in Dade County as Rising Fawn Jane Doe.
For years, GBI agents and Dade County investigators tried for years to identify Rising Fawn Jane Doe. They drew composite sketches and made clay renderings but were still unable to identify her.
In 2005, GBI special agent Joe Montgomery took over the case. He had genetic profiles of the victim and killer made and entered into a Federal of Bureau of Investigation database but there were no hits so the GBI asked the FBI to consider genetic genealogy.
In January 2022, the FBI enlisted the help of Othram Inc. to identify Rising Fawn Jane Doe. Using DNA along with traditional genealogy, the private DNA laboratory based in Texas, USA connects relatives to killers of cold case crimes by identifying them through their family tree.
After comparing Rising Fawn Jane Doe’s DNA profile against the millions of samples of DNA that exist in databases from Ancestry, Gedmatch and other services, Othram Inc. experts created a family tree from the DNA that led them to her family in Norton Shores. fingerprint match confirmed that she was Chahorski.
Stacey Lyn Chahorski
Hailing from Norton Shores, Muskegon County, Michigan, USA, Chahorski is the daughter of Mary Beth Ritter Chahorski. Stacey is 1 year older than her brother Michael Albert Chahorski.
Stacey wanted to see other parts of the U.S. so she hitchhiked across the country despite her mother’s warning against it. While in North Carolina, USA, Stacey called Mary Beth on September 15, 1988 and said she was heading back to Michigan.
After that phone call, Mary Beth never heard from Stacey again. Stacey was 19 when her mother reporter her missing on January 17, 1989 to the Norton Shores Police Department.
In March 2022, with assistance from Othram Inc., Rising Fawn Jane Doe was identified as Stacey. After she was identified, her remains were exhumed from a Dade County grave and returned to Norton Shores.
As a truck driver employed by the Western Carolina Trucking Company, Wise traveled through Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA to Birmingham, Alabama, USA to Nashville, Tennessee on his regular route. He was in the direct route where Stacey’s body was found on December 16, 1988.
While working as a truck driver, Wise also worked as a stunt driver on the side. Just 13 days after he turned 43 in 1999, he was burned to death in a stunt car accident at Myrtle Beach Speedway on U.S. Route 501 near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
After the fatal accident, Wise’s sister sued the company that hired him. According to the lawsuit, he had no flame retardant suit while driving a vehicle bought from a scrap yard, which stalled and was engulfed in flames before he could escape.
Wise had had a criminal past but his arrests came before there was mandatory DNA testing after a felony arrest. Among the crimes he committed were assault, theft and obstruction of a police officer in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.
On June 13, 2022, Othram Inc. found that the DNA of Stacey’s killer matched Wise. Investigators in Georgia interviewed family members of the deceased truck driver and collected DNA swabs, which assisted in helping them link him to the murder of Stacey.
Funding for the identification of Stacey’s killer came from the true-crime media company Audiochuck, which sponsors Othram Inc. Founded in 2017, Audiochuck is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.