Police identify remains found at Chesterfield landfill in 1986 as 16-year-old girl

Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Police have identified human remains found in a Chesterfield landfill in 1986 as a 16-year-old girl after using DNA from a family member of the victim.

Now, investigators are hoping photos of the victim will help solve the mystery of Christy Floyd’s death.

”My sister didn’t deserve to be put in the garbage,” said Kim Atkins, Floyd’s sister, through tears.

Time has not healed the wounds felt by her and her family, as she’s pressed for 34 years to find her missing sibling through many means: milk cartons, asking friends to search social media, and even submitting Floyd’s information to America’s Most Wanted.

On Aug. 7, 1986, workers were unloading trash from the School Street transfer station in Richmond at a Chesterfield landfill, when they noticed human remains.

Chesterfield police conducted a thorough search and recovered what appeared to be the remains of a woman. Her cause of death was determined to be a homicide, according to the medical examiner.

Investigators later sent part of the remains to DNA Labs international in Florida, which created a DNA profile of the victim, but investigators say the data could not be matched at the time.

In 2019, the data from the Florida lab was sent to Parabon Labs in Virginia, which produced a composite of the victim. The composite was released to the public in March by Chesterfield Police and later recognized by a retired RPD detective.

”He said ‘You need to find this family, the last name is Atkins, they have a sister that went missing in Richmond in the ‘80s,” said Detective Chris Humphries.

Recently, using DNA extractions from the remains, police were able to track down a potential family member who voluntarily provided DNA to compare.

The DNA extracted was confirmed as Christy Floyd, who was 16 years old and lived in the 2300 block of West Grace Street when she disappeared. According to family, she worked at the Hardee’s in Scott’s Addition.

Atkins says that her sister did meet a boy at work, who ran away with her the night before she disappeared.

But while the discovery brings the family one step closer to closure and happier memories, it also serves as a reminder of their pain.

”She was so sweet and so naive. I never ever saw her get in an argument with anybody... except for me,” said Atkins, remembering her sister, ”she was like my child, and I feel like I failed her.”

Floyd’s brother and his family were also on hand for the announcement.

“It’s been rough on everybody. Every Christmas and every Thanksgiving, [Kim]’s waiting on a knock on the door from my sister.”

Investigators are now releasing photos of Floyd, including one with an unknown male friend, in hopes of finding more information on her death. They add that the male friend is neither a person of interest nor a suspect, but they would still like to get in touch with him to get a better sense of Floyd’s social circle at the time of her death.

Anyone with information should call the Chesterfield County Unsolved/Major Investigations Group at 804-717-6024.

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