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Heidi Balch identified as 1989 murder victim

3:21 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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HOPEWELL, N.J. (WPVI/CNN) - Police in Hopewell, N.J. have closed the books on a decades-old murder mystery.

Authorities have positively identified a severed head found on a golf course in Hopewell in 1989.

Using DNA evidence, they have identified the victim as 25-year-old Heidi Balch. She was working as a prostitute in New York City during that time.

Authorities are happy to finally have an answer for her family.

"She was young. She met a horrible death, and as bad as everything is, maybe at this point at least, we can provide closure to her family. They now know what happened to their daughter," said Chief George Meyer of the Hopewell Police Department.

Balch is believed to be one of the victims of convicted Long Island serial killer Joel Rifkin.

Authorities suspect Rifkin removed her teeth and fingertips to keep her from being identified.

He is serving more than two hundred years in a New York state prison for nine other murders.

WPVI/CNN

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