Solving ‘Tent Girl’ Case, Factory Worker Turns Missing Persons Expert

For Todd Matthews, it all started with a ghost story shared among teenagers.

It was Halloween night 1987. A 17-year-old Matthews listened as friends tried to spook each other with scary tales — but one story told was true.

Lori Riddle, the woman who would become Matthews’ wife within a year, spoke of the dead body her father stumbled upon in Scott County, Kentucky in the spring of 1968.

“It was a strange story. A Jane Doe,” he said.

Investigators were unable to identify the murdered woman, making her one of the estimated 40,000 nameless people laying dead in the medical examiners’ and coroner’s offices across the country.

“I thought there was one. I couldn’t imagine that there were possibly 40,000,” Matthews, 44, said, recalling his youthful naiveté.

For 30 years the slain woman was known as “Tent Girl” —

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