I am about to share a true homicide cold-case with you. This post is considerably different from those that I normally write. If you get the least bit squeamish or uneasy with these type of stories than please just skip this post. I understand that stories like this one can make some people uncomfortable.
In 1982, I was a student of a law enforcement vocational program. As part of that program, our class was introduced to an unsolved murder of a young, unidentified girl, whose body was found shot and dumped in the nearby town of Caledonia, New York, on November 10, 1979.
And while it’s hard for me to believe, this week marks the 33rd year anniversary date of Jane Doe’s death.
For me, this case has been hard to forget. Maybe it’s because our law enforcement class spent countless hours making fliers, addressing envelopes, and mailing them to law enforcement agencies across the United States; maybe it’s because the victim was probably about my age when she was brutally killed; maybe it’s because she has never been identified and I find unimaginable to believe that her family hasn’t looked for her in all these years; or maybe it’s difficult for me to swallow the truth, that someone has gotten away with murder. Whatever the reason, here is the story of Jane Doe – Caledonia.
On November 10, 1979, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a local farmer who had found a young girls lifeless body in his rain-soaked corn field.
Upon physical investigation of the body it was determined that Jane was approximately 13 and 19 years old at her time of death. She weighed approximately 120 pounds and was 5’3” tall.
She was shot twice with a .38 caliber gun. Once over her right eye and once in her back. She was found fully clothed with her pockets turned inside out and stripped of any form of identification. The only two personal items reported to have been found on her body were a necklace and a key chain.
She had visible tan lines that implied that she was not from the area where her body was found. Her brown, wavy, shoulder length hair had been frosted about four months prior to her death. She had no previous dental work, but had some serious dental decay. She was wearing tan corduroys, a boy’s plaid button down shirt, blue knee socks, brown lace up ripple shoes, and a man’s red nylon zip up jacket that had black stripes down the sleeves. The jacket was made by Auto Sports Products, Inc..
There are reports that indicate a waitress at a local diner may have seen Jane and an unidentified male eating dinner there the night before her body was found. The FBI has posted a composite of a person of interest in this case, along with a description of the vehicle he may have been operating. It is also reported that some truck drivers thought they saw Jane hitch hiking in the area the day before.
In 2006, Jane’s clothing was tested by Texas A&M University to determine what type of pollen traces were present. The tests concluded that the pollen on Jane’s clothing could be found in several geographical regions, including parts of Mexico, south Texas and Florida, three regions of California, and the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Based on these findings, the investigators believe she may have originated from the Southwest.
Along with the pollen tests, DNA extraction was preformed on Jane’s body. This process could help identify her through potential living relatives.
Jane was laid to rest in a Dansville, New York cemetery with the following inscription on her gravestone; “Lest we forget an unidentified girl. November 9, 1979. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
I would like to believe that this case can still be solved, and I believe all of you can help by tweeting this story, sharing it on Facebook, and/or re-blogging it.
33 years is long enough – it’s time to find out the who, what, where, when, why and how.
Note – The images and information related to this case are from various web sources, including The Doe Network, Wikipedia, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the blog – Kidnapping, Murder and Mayhem.
If you have information that you would like to pass on regarding the identity of Jane, information regarding the crime itself, or the person of interest in this case, please contact the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office at (585)243-7100.