On October 2, 1976, a farmer and his granddaughter discovered the body of an unidentified woman in Erienna Township, near Seneca, Grundy County, Illinois. The body, which was nude, was found in a ditch on US Route 6, 1.4 miles east of the LaSalle County line and not far from Interstate 80.
An autopsy was performed on Jane Doe at the Range Funeral Home, where it was determined she had been dead for only a day.
Her cause of death was deemed homicide by gunshot, as it appeared she’d been shot once in the back of the head with a .38 caliber revolver. The bullet had entered behind her ear and while it didn’t exit the skull, it did penetrate two places, resulting in some disfigurement of the face.
Jane Doe is described as African American, and is believed to have been between 15 and 27 years old. She stood anywhere from 5’7″ to 5’9″ and weighed approximately 130 to 150 pounds. Her black hair was in an afro-style and she had brown eyes. She had an indented scar on her right hip and a possible birthmark on her lower right abdomen.
When found, a red, white and black knit sweater was around her neck and a green plastic bag bound with black electrical tape was over her head. The sweater, which had a handwritten “C” on the tag, still had the price tag on it, which stated it had cost $15.99.
In order to help identify Jane Doe, her image was run in the Chicago Daily Bulletin, but no one came forward saying they knew her. Her fingerprints were also submitted to the FBI and other crime labs, but a match couldn’t be made. As of late, both a Facebook page and an Instagram account have been created to raise awareness about the case.
Police don’t believe Jane Doe to have been from the local area.
In 2018, a billboard was put up outside of the Joliet Regional Airport in order to try and identify the unknown woman. As well, in December 2018, her body was exhumed and her bones sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for DNA testing.
Recently, the case has been picked up by the DNA Doe Project.
1) Katrina Ashford, who went missing from San Rafael, California on July 11, 1972.
2) Tracy Davenport, who went missing from San Rafael, California on April 27, 1973.
3) Catherine Davidson, who went missing from Sawyer, Michigan on September 1, 1973.
4) Francis Loretta Heath Wells, who went missing from Crossett, Arkansas on August 13, 1974.
5) Ila Maynard, who went missing from Greensboro, North Carolina on December 4, 1974.
6) Consuella Cash, who went missing from Los Angeles, California on January 3, 1975.
7) Alice Jefferson, who went missing from Fort Campbell, Kentucky in either 1974 or 1975.
8) Sherise Magee, who went missing from Las Vegas, Nevada on August 1, 1975.
9) Marion Hawkins, who went missing from Los Angeles, California on October 5, 1975.
10) Mabel Andrews, who went missing from Orlando, Florida on January 16, 1976.
11) Brenda Moore, who went missing from Austin, Texas on March 7, 1976.
12) Margie Phillips, who went missing from Fort Myers, Florida on April 22, 1976.
13) Jennifer Barton, who went missing from Austin, Texas on May 16, 1976.
14) Debra Stewart, who went missing from Austin, Texas on May 21, 1976.
15) Barbara Jolly, who went missing from Seattle, Washington on August 22, 1976.
16) Ivy Matory, who went missing from Compton, California on July 21, 1977.
17) Violet Matory, who went missing from Compton, California on July 21, 1977.
18) Yolanda Williams, who went missing from Los Angeles County, California on July 19, 1977.
19) Susan Redding, who went missing from Seattle, Washington on April 8, 1975.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s dentals, DNA and fingerprints are currently available for comparison.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the Grundy County Coroner at either 815-942-3792 or 815-941-3359.
Image Credit: Carl Koppelman/NCMEC