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Severed Leg Belonged to a Black Woman, Tests Showed

August 30, 1995

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Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A leg found in the rubble of the federal building bombing belongs to an unidentified black woman, the state medical examiner said Wednesday.

The leg belonged to a woman approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall between the ages of 16 and 30. The badly decomposed limb did not match any of seven known victims of the bombing who were missing left legs, Dr. Fred Jordan said Jordan

The official death count from the attack was raised to 169.

``DNA analysis by the FBI has shown conclusively that the left leg is not male but female,″ Jordan said. He said hair analysis by the FBI had shown the victim was black.

Earlier tests found a 75 percent probability that the leg had belonged to a light-skinned male. Jordan’s release said that conclusion was based on statistical data for Caucasians.

Defense attorneys for bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh speculated that the leg might have belonged to the ``real bomber.″ The leg was found wearing a size 7 1/2 military-style boot and an olive-drab strap.

The leg was broken in two places, Jordan said.

McVeigh and Terry Nichols are the only people who have been indicted in the April 19 bombing.

Both men are being held without bail and could face the death penalty if convicted under federal conspiracy and murder charges.

Their former Army buddy Michael Fortier admitted to a minor role and pleaded guilty to lesser charges in return for his testimony.

Stephen Jones, McVeigh’s attorney, said he was dubious about the new results.

``With this contradictory disclosure, no one can have confidence in any of the forensic work in this case,″ Jones said. ``A white male becomes a black female. No wonder DNA testing has been discredited.″

Calls to prosecutors weren’t returned.

In the weeks after the bombing, federal agents combed the country in vain for John Doe No. 2, a dark-haired, muscular suspect depicted in sketches distributed by the FBI.

The sketch has not been withdrawn, even though officials have admitted that it resembled an innocent Army private who was in the rental agency near the time that McVeigh allegedly rented the Ryder truck that carried the 4,800-pound bomb.

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