Solved: A Jane Doe From Unsolved Mysteries Is Identified

NamUs/Orange County Sheriff's Department
NamUs/Orange County Sheriff's Department

For 27 years, investigators at California's Orange County Sheriff’s Department's Coroner Division would periodically pull out a case file that kept nagging at them. On April 1, 1990, a woman was attempting to cross the Pacific Coast Highway when she was struck by two passing cars and died at the scene. Police sketches, fingerprints, and other methods of identification had proved fruitless; a spot on Unsolved Mysteries added little. Somewhere, the 26-year-old woman’s family must be wondering what happened to her.

The Division’s dogged pursuit of her identity has finally paid off. Last week, the Sheriff’s Department announced [PDF] that the accident victim was Andrea Kuiper, a woman who had recently moved to California from Fairfax, Virginia, and who had apparently fallen out of touch with her family due to a drug habit and bouts of manic depression.

Kuiper’s name was revealed as the result of a recent partnership between the FBI and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a database of research information for cold cases. As part of their expansion of resources, NamUs was recently able to access fingerprint data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hiring history. As it turns out, Kuiper once worked for the department. When her employee information was added to the database, investigators got a match.

The Orange County Coroner Division notified Fairfax authorities, who reached out to Kuiper’s family. “We are thankful to know what happened to our daughter after all these years,” Andrea's father, Richard Kuiper, was quoted as saying in a press release. Until the discovery, he said they maintained hope that they would one day find her arriving back home in a “car full of beautiful children.”

[h/t Yahoo/ABC]

An Avocado Shortage Has Triggered a Fruit Crime Wave in New Zealand

iStock
iStock

In New Zealand, getting started as an avocado grower is no easy task right now. That’s because, according to Stuff.co.nz and The Takeout, the country’s nurseries are currently experiencing a shortage of avocado saplings due to high demand.

Avocado prices are especially high in New Zealand, in part because of the country’s strict import rules. New Zealand doesn’t import avocados, and homegrown harvests have produced low yields in the past two years. Prices for the fruit have spiked, and the average avocado goes for about $3.30 according to The New York Times.

Some New Zealanders have responded to the shortage by trying to get into the avocado cultivation game themselves, but the rush to buy avocado saplings has led to a shortage for wholesalers and nurseries. Several nursery owners Stuff.co.nz spoke to currently have a large backlog of orders they haven’t yet filled. If you want a sapling this year, you’d better get in line. Some nurseries ran out as early as April, and more saplings might not come into stock until late September.

Some opportunistic New Zealanders have taken a different tack to get their avocado fix. There has been a rash of fruit theft from avocado orchards, and thieves are taking more than just one or two avocados. One grower reported losing 70 percent of his harvest to theft in July, costing him an estimated $100,000.

People looking to plant avocado trees shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to get their hands on saplings, though. Winter in New Zealand isn’t yet over, and if you’re going to plant a new tree, you should probably wait until spring, anyway. And growing avocados isn’t an instant gratification hobby. Newly planted avocado trees don’t bear fruit for their first few years. That baby tree might take as long as four years to start producing guacamole ingredients.

[h/t The Takeout]

Nearly $100,000 in Instant Ramen Was Stolen in Georgia Noodle Heist

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iStock

It's not easy to steal a small fortune when your target is instant ramen, but a team of thieves in Georgia managed to do just that a few weeks back. As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the criminals made off with a trailer containing nearly $100,000 worth of noodles, and the local police force is still working to track down the perpetrators.

The heist occurred outside a Chevron gas station in Fayetteville, Georgia some time between July 25 and August 1, 2018. The 53-foot trailer parked in the area contained a large shipment of ramen, which the truck's driver estimates was worth about $98,000. Depending on the brand, that means the convenience food bandits stole anywhere between 200,000 and 500,000 noodle packs.

Some outlets have connected the truck-jacking to a recent string of vehicle-related robberies, but the Fayette County Sheriff's Office told the AJC such reports are inaccurate. Any potential suspects in the case have yet to be revealed.

The outlaws join the list of thieves who have stolen food items in bulk. Some of the most ambitious food heists in the past have centered on 11,000 pounds of Nutella, $75,000 worth of soup, and 6000 cheesecakes.

[h/t The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

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