Fremont, NE -- April 14, 2001 -- Authorities are treating as a homicide the death of a 17-year-old Minnesota girl whose body was found in a drainage ditch.
Teresa L. Windham's identity was determined after a relative in the Omaha area reported her missing after reading and seeing news reports on the body found, said Dodge County Sheriff Dan Weddle. Dental records were used to confirm her identity.
Windham lived in Omaha-area shelters and group homes in recent years.
Although the cause of death remained undetermined, authorities are treating it as a homicide, Weddle said.
Investigators have said Windham was not shot or stabbed. Officials are still awaiting final autopsy results. Weddle said there did not appear to be any sign of a struggle before her death.
Windham's naked body was found by a county road-maintenance worker in a ditch next to a gravel road two miles north of Fremont. There was no identification found on the body.
Windham is originally from Minneapolis and lived in several group homes or shelters throughout the city between late 1997 and August 2000, according to police records. Windham was listed as a ward of the state during that time.
Windham was attending Omaha Westside High School in December 1999, according to a missing-person report filed at the time. Police records indicate she was 7 1/2 months pregnant in August 2000.
Police reports from April 2000 also indicated that her father lived in Kalamazoo, Mich., and her mother in Minneapolis.