Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 29, 2014

Police ID body in Medina cold case

Niagara Gazette — A name has finally been put to an unidentified female body found 30 years ago in Medina, New York State Police announced Monday.

The state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, working a cold case, has determined that the severely composed body found by a hunter in October 1983, several feet off state Route 63 in the town of Shelby, is that of Shari Lynne Ball

Ball was reported missing by her family to the Palm Beach County, Fla., sheriff's office in June 1983. 

Reports say Ball told her family she was going to New York state to begin a modeling career. She made contact with a friend a day or two after leaving Florida, from a truck stop in Ashland, Va., and was not heard from again after that.

When her body was discovered in Medina, police believed it had been there for several months. At the time there was no identification near the body and no identifying characteristics on the body. The cause of death is listed as undetermined but police believe foul play might have been involved.

A break in the ongoing cold case came this past October, when the state police BCI and the Orleans County District Attorney's Office, with help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, sought a court order for the exhumation of the body from a cemetery in Albion. The goal was to obtain DNA for further analysis and entry into the National DNA Database, a state police spokesman said.

The DNA was entered by the Chief Medical Examiners Office in New York City and a database match was made to a relative of Ball who submitted their DNA several years ago with the hope of someday finding her, the spokesman said.

At the time of her disappearance, Ball was 20 and described as a white female 5-feet-4, 100 pounds with hazel eyes and blonde hair. She was known to use the last name Timmerman.

Anyone who knew Shari Ball or may have information about her is asked to call New York State Police at (585) 344-6210.

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