On March 4th, 1983, a passerby observed a body in a drainage canal near Interstate 5 and Del Paso Road. Investigators were not able to identify the victim who died from being physically assaulted.
In May 2009, the Sacramento Police Department's Cold Case Unit received notification from the Department of Justice DNA lab that the un-identified murder victim had been identified as Elizabeth Nichols, who was 19 years old at the time of her murder.
The investigation revealed that on February 19th, 1983, Elizabeth Nichols was reported missing to the Shasta County Sheriff's Department. Nichols walked away from a mental hospital in Redding, California and disappeared. Investigators were not able to identify the body found on March 4, 1983 as that of Elizabeth Nichols until the recent DNA lab results.
Alice Nichols, mother of the victim, along with the Sacramento Police Department, encourages anyone with possible information on this murder to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.