But it may take modern DNA testing to help researchers close the case.
Now, Dr. Erin Kimmerle, a forensic anthropologist at South Florida University, will use DNA testing to confirm the theory. Kimmerle sent samples off for DNA testing and is awaiting the results.
She was invited by National Geographic and will appear in an upcoming documentary about the pilot.
Whether or not the bones are positively identified as Earhart’s, Kimmerle sees this as an exciting opportunity to focus on the legendary woman’s life, rather than the story of her death.
“I think a lot of the focus is always on the mystery,” she told CNN. “And, certainly, we always want to solve that and find out what happened. But whether this is her or not, [the real value] in a historic case like this that gets so much attention is really looking at that person’s life and what they achieved.”