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Mon Mar 1, 2021, 12:08 PM

Genetic genealogy is helping to crack cold cases and identify victims left nameless for decades.

For nearly 30 years, Dianne Gonsoulin Hastings tried to discover what befell her big sister.

Donna was petite, rail-thin, and had a distinctive dark-eyed charm. As a girl and young woman, she loved to go crabbing on Pleasure Island, standing for hours on a rocky jetty that poked out into the Gulf of Mexico until night fell and dawn broke. She loved Janis Joplin, another free-spirited Port Arthur native. And she loved to sing outside, belting out Joplin lyrics like “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Then she disappeared, leaving no word with her siblings, her large band of close-knit Cajun cousins, or her kids—the two boys she loved.


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