Tips Sought in Murder of New Jersey Woman Dismembered, Dumped in San Diego Bay in 1973

San Diego Bay cold case
Arminda Grangela Rodrigues da Silva Ribeiro. Credit: San Diego Crime Stoppers

Authorities reached out to the public Friday for help in determining who murdered an East Coast woman whose dismembered body was dumped in San Diego Bay a half-century ago.

Fishermen found an orange suitcase and several plastic bags containing the remains of Arminda Grangela Rodrigues da Silva Ribeiro, 29, in the harbor waters off the western terminus of Laurel Street on the morning of June 13, 1973, according to the San Diego Police Department.

“For decades following (the) discovery, the (victim) remained unidentified, but local investigators continued to devote efforts to solving the case,” SDPD Lt. Jud Campbell said Friday.

Three years ago, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office exhumed Ribeiro’s remains to allow for an attempt to identify the victim through DNA analysis.

With financial assistance from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a private forensic-biotechnology company developed a genetic profile that ultimately led to the identification of the victim.

Investigators have learned that Ribeiro, who was born in Portugal, emigrated with her family to the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, which is home to a large Portuguese community.

“She still has family in the … area,” Campbell said.

At the time of her disappearance, Ribeiro was married with two children and worked at a trailer-fabrication company in Newark.

“Police are seeking assistance in identifying the company she worked for in Newark, any potential connections she had to San Diego or any (other) information that might help investigators determine what happened to Ribeiro,” Campbell said.

Anyone who might be able to help investigators solve the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

City News Service contributed to this article.