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DNA Helps ID Severed Head Found On Hopewell Golf Course

Police in New Jersey are combing through files to see if any more of New York serial killer Joel Rifkin’s victims could have been dumped in the state.

Forensic model of head found on Hopewell golf course
Forensic model of head found on Hopewell golf course (WPVI TV)

 

That’s been prompted by the identification of a woman whose severed head was found on a golf course in Hopewell, Mercer County, in 1989. Authorities say 25-year-old Heidi Balch likely was Rifkin’s first victim, based on physical evidence and statements Rifkin made to police.

State Police Det. Sgt. Stephen Urbanski says Balch worked as a prostitute in New York City and used numerous aliases and Social Security numbers.

Urbanski and detectives from Hopewell found Balch’s aunt in New York, who identified her picture this month. DNA tests confirmed her identity.

Rifkin is serving more than 200 years in prison for nine murders.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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