Front Page Detectives

Police were told it would be 'by the grace of god' if they ever learned a murder victim's name. God answered last week.

Source: McDonald County Sheriff's Office

Apr. 6 2021, Updated 4:09 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Officers looking into the 1990 death of "Grace Doe" were told it would only be by the Grace of God they would ever know her name.

Last week, they announced who she was. 

Article continues below advertisement

Shawna Beth Garber was named as "Grace Doe" in a homicide that happened on Dec. 2, 1990. She was only 22 years old when she was killed. After her killing, her name was unknown until the McDonald County Sheriff's Office announced her identity. 

Texas company Othram offered to help the sheriff’s department with the case. The agency agreed to send Othram “Grace’s” skeletal remains to Othram’s lab, where scientists worked for months to build a DNA profile from the remains, according to the sheriff's office.

Article continues below advertisement

They uploaded the DNA to sites to look for someone related to “Grace.” They used the platform to get the money to work on the case.

thumbnail_grace doe photo
Source: McDonald County Sheriff's Office

A rendering of what "Grace Doe" would have looked like at the time of her death

Article continues below advertisement

 Eventually, all of the hard work led to three potential family matches in January 2021. The candidates were identified through genealogy research, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies reached out to the candidates and when they called Danielle Pixler, she revealed that she had a half-sister who was missing. She had been searching for her for nearly 30 years.

Article continues below advertisement

Pixler agreed to provide her DNA so law enforcement could compare it to “Grace’s.” Shawna Beth Garber was a half-sibling match to Pixler, according to the sheriff's office.

shawna beth garber kid picture
Source: McDonald County Sheriff's Office

Shawna Beth Garber as a child

Article continues below advertisement

The murder occurred in Lanagan, Missouri, which is nearly three hours from Garnett, Kansas, where Garber was last known to have lived in foster care.

Police say they have no leads about who killed Garber or the circumstances surrounding her death.

Article continues below advertisement

Investigators working the case are looking to talk to people in the region, and anywhere else, to see if they might have known Shawna Beth Garber, according to the sheriff's office. 

If you have any information that may help with the investigation, you can call the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office at (417) 223-4319 and ask for Lt. Michael Hall.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.