FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Skeletal remains found near a drainage ditch in the Tysons Corner area of Fairfax in 2001 have been identified as a young Fairfax City woman who went missing in 1975 at the age of 17.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, a construction crew found skeletal remains and some clothing behind an apartment complex on the 5100 block of Lincoln Circle on Sept. 27, 2001. The initial review by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners determined that the remains had belonged to an African American woman in her late teens or early 20s who had died from a gunshot wound to her head.

Earlier this year, cold case detectives affiliated with Othram, Inc., a private corporation that uses forensic genealogy to solve cold cases and identify John and Jane Does, determined that the remains actually belonged to a Caucasian woman.

With the help of Othram, cold case detectives identified a possible relative — a half-sister — and eventually identified the remains as belonging to Patricia Agnes Gildawie, who was last seen on Feb. 8, 1975 at the age of 17. Gildawie’s half-sister shared details about her life with police.

Gildawie was born in France in February of 1958 and moved to the United States at eight months old. In the early 1970s, Gildawie moved to Fairfax City.

Patricia Gildawie (Photo: Fairfax County Police)

Gildawie was known to drive a white Cadillac Eldorado with a red interior and before she disappeared, she dated an older man who worked at an upholstery store in Vienna near the corner of Church Street and Lawyers Road.

Fairfax County Police detectives continue to investigate this case with this new information. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

“Identifying this young woman solves a mystery that has been more than 47 years in the making,” said Ed O’Carroll, Bureau Commander of Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics. “Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases. Advancements in technology have given my Cold Case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”