On February 1, 1968, two fishermen noticed a black suitcase floating about 12 feet off the banks of Alton Lake, near the south end of the Lewis and Clark Bridge, off US Highway 67. Using a prodding stick, they fished the suitcase out of the water and noticed it was bound with blue clothesline and had been weighed down with two 10-pound exercise weights on the outside and two more on the inside.
When the two opened the suitcase, they discovered the body of a female toddler. It appeared she and the suitcase had been thrown into the lake.
An autopsy was performed upon the body being brought to the St. Charles County Medical Examiner’s Office, where it was learned Jane Doe had died a few weeks to one month prior to being found, in either late 1967 or early 1968. There were no signs of trauma, and the body had begun to show signs of discolouration.
While the autopsy failed to disclose a cause of death, the case has been deemed a homicide. While there wasn’t a lot of water in her lungs, death by drowning has not been ruled out.
Jane Doe is described as white, and is believed to have been between 2 and 3 years old. She stood at 2’8″ and weighed approximately 35 to 40 pounds.
She had long, strawberry blonde hair. Her eye colour is unknown. When found, she was only wearing white underwear. She had one abnormally large tooth, and a scar above one eye. It’s currently unknown which eye.
In February 1968, a man came forward, believing Jane Doe was his missing 3-year-old daughter. The young girl, her mother and her sibling had been missing for eight weeks and the man didn’t know where they were. However, Jane Doe proved not to be the missing girl.
In 2015, Jane Doe’s body was exhumed to obtain DNA evidence, in the hopes of comparing it against families of missing children from the 1960s. However, there wasn’t enough to create a profile.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s dentals are available for comparison.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the St. Charles Medical Examiner’s Office at 314-577-8298. Tips can also be called into the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department at either 636-949-1818 or 636-949-3000.
Image Credit: NCMEC/Carl Koppelman