Hoffman said the first clue to the skeletons tentative identification came from Harold Thacker, a retired Vallejo police sergeant and now a criminal investigator to Mare Island. Hoffman said Thacker supplied the name of the missing Chinese girl after reading yesterday's Times-Herald account of the discovery of the skeleton. Thacker told Hoffman he recalled talking to the missing girl's father at Mare Island when he made inquiries at the shipyard after his daughter was reportedly last seen there. Hoffman said a check of Police Department records uncovered a missing persons report involving Deana Hooper which had been filed by her sister in Vallejo. Police immediately contacted the sister with the result to the skeletons' identity. Hoffman said confirmations of the identification rests with an examination of the Sonoma girl's dental charts, which have been released by a Napa dentist for checking with he skeleton's teeth.
On October 1st 1976, just over two years after Deana Hooper was reported missing and eventually found near the golf course alongside Columbus Parkway, the strangled body of 14-year-old Judy Gifford was found in a shallow grave by Lake Merced pumping station, an area surrounded by three golf courses in the southwest corner of San Francisco. She was discovered by a boy digging for turtle eggs in the sand, when he noticed a human hand protruding above the surface. Her body was fully clothed with a Timex watch on the wrist and wearing gold earrings. However, she was only reported missing in 2017 by her half-brother William Shin, only six at the time of her disappearance, who informed authorities that the family hadn't seen or heard from her since 1976. Her body remained unidentified until 2019, but through DNA of a paternal aunt she was ultimately reunited to her family and the Jane Doe No. 40 tag removed.