LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It was a murder case that perplexed East Texas investigators for over a decade.
The case of ‘Lavender Doe’ in Gregg County.
Her identity remained a mystery until a DNA project earlier this year.
The woman's family was in East Texas this weekend for a funeral, and to thank all of those who worked to give them closure.
It was a solemn observance at White Cemetery in Longview, attended by Gregg County sheriffs personnel, and Florida members of Dana Dodd’s family. The woman we came to know as Lavender Doe.
"We wanted to bring everybody out and thank them as one, for being part of Dana. Showing the love while we weren't able to find her, they kept her safe and loved. So we wanted to thank everybody. All the years of looking for her, we did not know she was in this part of the country, we thought she was up north," says Dodd's sister Amanda Gadd.
“It’s special to me and the other men and women who came before me on this case. It’s an honor to be here today to see Dana get her name back,” said Gregg County sheriff’s office lieutenant Eddie Hope.
Family says Dana went missing in 2003.
In 2006, Lavender Doe was found off Fritz-Swanson road.
The DNA Doe Project joined the investigation in 2018 and confirmed doe’s identity, as Dana Dodd.
“When we got that first phone call that it could possibly be her it was like breathtaking, she’s not Jane Doe anymore, she’s Dana Lynn Dodd,” said Dodd’s brother John Dodd.
August 2018, Joseph Burnette was arrested and confessed to the murder of the then missing person Felisha Pearson.
And then confessed to killing Lavender Doe.
"Now its all about the justice for Dana," Amanda says.
The family, so thankful for everyone's help, decided to make Texas Dana's last resting place.
"Dana needed to be here because she is part of Longviews' family," says Amanda.
Dodd’s family members say they will come back to Longview when Burnette goes to court for hearings or a possible trial.