*UPDATE: The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has uncovered the identity of Annie Doe: Anne Marie “Annie” Lehman.*
On August 19, 1971, a man and his son were mushroom hunting at Cave Junction in Oregon when they discovered skeletal remains in a wooded area off Rockwood Highway, near Mile Post 35 on the Oregon-California border. They were on a side road going to the Cooke Ranch, just south of Rough and Ready Creek, on the side of Highway 199. The remains had been scattered across the area by animals and were partially covered by debris.
The area in which the remains were found is known for having a lot of campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, lakes and river, which thousands of people visit each year.
Given the state of the remains, an autopsy couldn’t be conducted upon them being brought in for examination. It was concluded they belonged to a female who had been dead for several months.
While Jane Doe’s cause of death is currently unknown, police believe it was the result of a homicide.
Jane Doe is described as white, and is believed to have been between 14 to 25 years old. Her dental age has narrowed that gap to a range of 14 to 22 years old. She stood between 5’2″ and 5’9″, and weighed approximately 125 pounds.
Her long hair is described as being either red or auburn, with dyed blonde streaks. Given the state of the remains, her eye colour is unknown, but DNA analysis has suggested they might have been brown. She was tall and slim. Her dentals reveal her to have been slightly buck-toothed with crooked teeth. She also had four molar fillings.
When found, Jane Doe was wearing a tan or beige long-sleeve turtleneck with a zipper in the back; a checker pink and beige double-breasted waist-length belted coat with six pink buttons; purple, blue and white striped panties; a white Loveable brand bra, size 34B; and brown Primstyle brand imitation leather square-toed shoes that had straps with gold buckles and medium height heavy heels. Her jewelry consisted of a ring featuring a Mother-of-Pearl stone and silver band, with the letters “AL” scratched into it, and a sterling silver band with diagonal decorative chevron-like scoring along the band, with the stamp “M-H”. The latter is described as being either a friendship ring or one signifying a pre-engagement band for a relationship.
In her pockets were 38 cents, with the oldest coin dating back to 1970, and a map of Northern California recreational sites, which was decomposed when found. The latter has led investigators to theorize she may have been on her way to California before her death. As well, a hunting knife with deer blood on it was found near the body.
Based on her jewelry, it’s speculated she may have a connection to New Jersey, while isotope testing done in 2017 suggested she might have been from the northeastern United States or the Great Lakes region. However, she may have lived anywhere up north, along the line between the United States and Canadian border.
Jane Doe’s DNA was tested and revealed she was a mix of Northern Atlantic, Baltic and Western Mediterranean. It also showed she had third cousins living in New Zealand. While investigators don’t know for sure if she herself was from New Zealand, it appears someone in her family was, possibly her parents, who were likely immigrants from there or England. As well, DNA testing revealed matches from the UK, predominately Sussex. It indicated that a 19th century couple – Richard James and Harriett Ellen Vanstone – might share some relation to her.
1) Martha Shelton, who went missing from Corbin, Kentucky on May 21, 1971.
2) Niki Britten, who went missing from Albany, Oregon on July 16, 1969.
3) Mary Amos, who went missing from Montclair, California on December 31, 1968.
4) Denise Anderson, who went missing from Sacramento, California on April 13, 1971.
5) Gloria Baird, who went missing from Atlanta, Georgia on December 31, 1969.
6) Joyce Brewer, who went missing from Grand Prairie, Texas on September 6, 1970.
7) Alexis Dugan, who went missing from Tampa, Florida on September 14, 1970.
8) Christine Eastin, who went missing from Hayward, California on January 18, 1971.
9) Robin Graham, who went missing from Los Angeles, California on November 14, 1970.
10) Janet Kramer, who went missing from Willmar, Minnesota on January 1, 1971.
11) Cindy Mellin, who went missing from Ventura, California on January 20, 1970.
12) Jeannette Miller, who went missing from Arlington, Washington on September 16, 1970.
13) Denise Sheehy, who went missing from Queens, New York on July 7, 1970.
14) Ellen McCullum Drake, who went missing from Portland, Oregon on January 1, 1967.
15) Jamie Grisim, who went missing from Vancouver, Washington on December 7, 1971.
16) Kristina Allen, who went missing from Los Angeles, California on February 28, 1976.
17) Diane Licciardello, who went missing from Melrose, Massachusetts on October 12, 1971.
18) Mary Ann Switalski, who went missing from Chicago, Illinois on July 15, 1963.
19) Barbara Bryson, who went missing from Stayton, Oregon on July 29, 1971.
20) Debra Pscholka, who went missing from Corona, California on June 5, 1971.
21) Sharon Giusti, who went missing from Port Townsend, Washington on March 5, 1963.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s dentals, as well as her mtDNA and nucDNA, are available.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Department at 541-474-5128.
Image Credit: NCMEC/Joyce Nagy