EXPLAINER: How Jane Doe was identified as Michelle Busha 35 years later

For 35 years, the case of Jane Doe had almost everything.

An unmarked grave. A crude sketch. A confession from the killer.

Backstory -- Missing Texas woman identified as 1980 Minnesota murder victim

Everything, except for the name of the naked woman whose decomposing body was found in a drainage ditch along I-90 in southern Minnesota.

Now we know that too.

Michelle Busha was 18 when she disappeared from her family's home in Texas.

Unknown to then, she'd hitchhiked her way to Minnesota in May 1980 when she was picked up by Minnesota State Trooper Leroy Nelson.

Jerry Kabe is the former detective who interviewed Nelson in a Texas prison seven years later, when he confessed to raping and killing Jane Doe. Nelson was convicted of murder, but he never knew his victim's name, and he made sure no one else would, either.

"He had her handcuffed at that time she's hollering and screaming a lot," Kabe says. "He said he had a pliers in the car and he took the pliers and pulled some of her fingernails out."

Last August, the BCA had Jane Doe's body exhumed. Advances in nuclear DNR allowed a match between Doe, and Busha's parents, who had submitted their DNA to a national database.

"Miss Busha's decision to come forward all those years ago to provide samples was key," Kabe says. "We wouldn't be sending her home otherwise after all these years -- she would still be Faribault County's Jane Doe."

There was also amateur detective Deb Anderson who never stopped looking through posters of missing women. Jane Doe almost became a part of her family.

"It's a bittersweet situation," Anderson says. "This family has suffered a loss. I hope closure is of some value to them."

"Jane Doe has been a part of my life for so long... I feel like I'm kind of mourning her as well."

The Busha family is asking for privacy. Their grief is fresh again, 35 years later.

While science may have solved this cold case, credit also goes to the people who never forgot the woman without a name.