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 • Bellefonte
 • Centre County
 • Pennsylvania
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Dawn Marie Birnbaum
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Birth: 1976
Penobscot County
Maine, USA
Death: Mar. 23, 1993
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA

She ran away from the Elan school in Poland Springs, Maine on 3/21/1993. Her body was found by a motorist in a snowbank between Pennsylvania State Route 550 and Route 26 on March 24, 1993. The discovery touched off a nationwide manhunt for her killer by Federal, State & Local Law Enforcement. This case was profiled on the TV show, America's Most Wanted by John Walsh (whose son had been abducted & murdered). Using forensics and plaster casts of tire tracks left in the snow by a semi-tractor trailer, police and the FBI with AMW's help, were eventually able to trace the unit to a Ohio trucking company and the individual driver, James Cruz, Jr.
Subsequent search warrents found a single strand of the girl's hair in the passenger seat of the cab and DNA evidence proved conclusively (600 million to 1) that he had sex with the girl. Log books placed him in that area at the time of the discovery. Cruz was subsequently arrested, tried and convicted and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A string of unsolved young women's murders and body dumpings along his regular trucking route suddenly ended with his arrest. The other murder cases remain open and have never been solved.
The citizens of Centre County and the Borough of Bellefonte adopted her as one of their own and arranged for an appropriate burial for this young woman whom the local Funeral Home had named "Spring Dawn" before her true identity was discovered.

http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/serialarchive/Cruz.html
 
 
Burial:
Union Cemetery
Bellefonte
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Unknown if Correct Cemetery
 
Created by: db
Record added: Aug 05, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9271441
Dawn Marie Birnbaum
Added by: Fairy76
 
Dawn Marie Birnbaum
Added by: Anonymous
 
Dawn Marie Birnbaum
Added by: Anonymous
 
 
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Dawn, there is a memorial website for you that I put up at: http://www.ilasting.com/dawnmariebirnbaum.php. I was a graduate student at Penn State when you were found in the snowbank that snowy day in March, 1993. What happened to you reminded me so much o...(Read more)
- JBeveridge
 Added: Jul. 22, 2014
Thinking of you. Hope you are resting in peace sweet angel.
- Barb
 Added: Jul. 7, 2014

- Jamie reed
 Added: May. 21, 2014
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