Florida woman, missing since 1983, identified in Shelby

Posted 28 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Police worked 3 decades to ID remains of Shari Lynne Ball

Press release, New York State Police

SHELBY – The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, conducting a Cold Case investigation, has announced that an unidentified female body found in the Town of Shelby October 1983 has been identified as a Florida woman.

The body, which was found by a hunter several feet off the shoulder of State Route 63, was in a severely decomposed state and believed to have been there for several months.

The victim has been identified as Shari Lynne Ball. She was reported missing by her family in June 1983 to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Shari told her family that she was going to New York State to begin a modeling career. She made contact with a friend a day or two after she left Florida from a truck stop in Ashland, Va., but was never heard from again after that.

At the time of discovery, there was no identification near the body and no identifying characteristics on the body. The New York State Police has worked tirelessly for the last 30 years in trying to positively identify this person following every lead that came in. The cause of death is listed as “Undetermined.” However, police believe foul play may be involved.

In October 2013, there was a break in the ongoing Cold Case. The State Police BCI in conjunction with the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office and with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, requested a court order for the exhumation of the body from the cemetery in Albion, in order to obtain DNA for further analysis and entry into the National DNA Database.

Ultimately the DNA was processed and entered for comparison by the Chief Medical Examiners Office in New York City. A Database match was made to a family member who had entered their DNA several years ago in hopes of some day finding their loved one.

At the time of her disappearance Shari Lynne Ball was reported as being 20 years old, white female, 5’ 04”, 100 pounds, hazel eyes and blonde hair. She was also known to use the name of Timmerman.

The New York State Police is working with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and is asking that anyone who knew Shari Ball, or anyone who may be able to provide any information about her, to contact them at 585-344-6210.