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    Nevada County Unsolved: The Unexplained Death of Jennifer Lynn O’Brien

    Nevada City, California is a quiet gold rush community in the Sierra Foothills just one hour north east of Sacramento. This unique artistic community has always been regarded as very safe.

    Unfortunately, that feeling of safety was shattered when a human skull, eventually identified as Jennifer Lynn O’Brien was discovered by two hikers just above town.

    Jennifer Lynn, 33, was a mother and wife who had moved to Nevada County in 2001, only three short years before she disappeared. She had five children, Samantha, Michael, Jayson, Guinevere and Kyra. She and husband Peter O’Brien had been married since November 22, 1998. In 2001, Jennifer and Peter had moved to Nevada City to be closer to their children who were being raised by Peter’s parents, Jim and Janice O’Brien.  Sadly, Jennifer was last seen alive in December 2005 during the bustling holiday season.

    Four years later, in August 2009, a skull and 68 bones were recovered from a seasonal pond in an area known as “Manzanita Diggins” bordering State Hwy 20 on the way to Lake Tahoe. The remains were sent to California State University Chico to be inspected. Using DNA evidence the remains were eventually identified as Jennifer Lynn O’Brien by forensic anthropologists. Experts were unable to determine Jennifer’s cause of death due to such severe decomposition of the skeletal remains. This case is still unsolved and the circumstances of Jennifer’s death, unexplained.

    Tragically, Jennifer’s husband Peter O’Brien passed away this year on March 24, 2013, having never known what happened to his young wife, the mother of his children. Jennifer and Peter are buried together at Hooper and Weaver’s Sierra Memorial Lawn in Nevada City, California.

    If you have any information regarding this case please contact the Nevada County Sheriff’s Dept. at 530-265-1471.

    Deepest sympathy and prayers for the family and loved ones of both Jennifer Lynn O’Brien and her departed husband Peter. True Love Never Dies.

    *See similar case: “Nevada County Unsolved-Jane Doe 2007”.  A second set of unidentified female remains were found above Nevada City in 2007.  Like Jennifer, Jane Doe was at least 30 years old and was also found along State Hwy 20.*

    Written by Chandler Vaughn. Contact: chandlerzone@gmail.com


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