Lake Pontchartrain Jane Doe

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DISCOVERY:

On June 18, 1986, police in Louisiana received a call from an unknown person saying they would find two bodies beneath an interstate bridge if they met up with a man at the state tourist information center on I-10, just west of Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. When they arrived, they found there was no one there to meet them. They searched around the I-10 and I-59 bridges for the bodies, but could find nothing.

On June 19, 1986, two fishermen discovered the body of an unidentified female floating in Lake Pontchartrain, just east of the I-10 twin spans and about 50 yards from the community of North Shore. Her face had a plastic bag over it, which was secured with duct tape, and she had a 22 pound, red-coloured weight tied around her neck.

When police arrived on scene, Jane Doe had drifted 40 yards east.

AUTOPSY:

Upon the body being brought in for examination, it was determined Jane Doe had died approximately 36 hours before being found. It was noted that her body had several minor cuts and blows to it, including numerous stab wounds to her face and a gash to the hand, but these were deemed superficial by the coroner. Police are unsure what caused these injuries.

An examination of Jane Doe’s blood showed small amounts of caffeine and alcohol in her system.

Ultimately, the cause of death in the case was deemed homicide by asphyxiation. However, the coroner was unable to determine if this was by drowning, strangulation or suffocation.

DETAILS:

Jane Doe is described as white, and is believed to have been between 20 and 30 years old. She was of a petite and slim build, standing at 5’3″ and weighing approximately 126 pounds. Her shoulder-length hair is described as being either auburn or red, and due to the level of decomposition her eye colour is currently undetermined.

She wasn’t wearing any clothes when found. However, she did have a 1/2 inch-wide ring mark on her left finger, indicating to investigators that she may have been married. She had three prominent scars – a 2.3cm scar on her abdomen, just above the naval; a 1.2cm scar on her right wrist; and a 1.5cm circular scar on her right knee – and it was noted that she was seven weeks pregnant at the time of her murder.

Jane Doe had a previously-healed fracture to her right hip. It’s believed to have been the result of either a vehicular accident or a sports injury.

While she hadn’t had any extensive dental work done, it was noted that her wisdom teeth had been removed. She also had four teeth missing, but it’s unknown if they were removed before death or if they were congenitally absent.

There’s evidence Jane Doe had undergone plastic surgery while alive. She had silicone breast implants and her nose, which was slightly upturned, could have also been operated on. Investigators tried to ID her based on the implants, but they had no serial numbers on them and interviews with 175 plastic surgeons came up empty.

It is not believed that Jane Doe is from the Slidell area. Based on information obtained from marine biologists and meteorologists, it’s likely her body was dumped between Bayou Lacombe and the Rigolets Pass.

RULE OUTS:

1) Hazel Klug, who went missing from Richmond, Virginia on May 20, 1986.

2) Carol Donn, who went missing from West Palm Beach, Florida on October 20, 1980.

3) Lisa Sexton, who went missing from Elyria, Ohio on May 1, 1981.

4) Sally Stone, who went missing from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on May 16, 1986.

5) Joyce Walcott, who went missing from Reseda, California on April 29, 1986.

6) April Zane, who went missing from Frankfort, Illinois on April 18, 1977.

7) Patricia Schmidt, who went missing from Richmond, Virginia on June 4, 1985.

8) Nadine Timm, who went missing from Illinois.

9) Mary Shinn, who went missing from Magnolia, Arkansas on July 20, 1978.

10) Deborah Lee Spickler, who went missing from Vernon, Connecticut on July 24, 1968.

11) Debra Cressotti, who went missing from Blandford, Massachusetts on April 30, 1985.

12) Tammy Leppert, who went missing from Rockledge, Florida on July 6, 1983.

13) Faye Self, who went missing from Armistead, Louisiana on March 30, 1983.

14) Deborah Post, who went missing from Sturbridge, Massachusetts on April 12, 1986.

15) Shannon Potter, who went missing from Baltimore, Maryland on March 3, 1984.

16) Susan Riedling, who went missing from Shepherdsville, Kentucky on June 23, 1986.

17) Annette Vail, who went missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 22, 1984.

18) Amanda Fravel, who went missing from Las Vegas, Nevada on June 13, 1986.

19) Judy Worrell, who went missing from Sacramento, California on October 5, 1981.

20) Rozlin Abell, who went missing from Bethany, Oklahoma on July 25, 1985.

21) Nichole Felding, who went missing from Porter, Oklahoma on July 11, 1986.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jane Doe’s dentals and DNA are currently available for comparison.

Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the LSU FACES Laboratory at 228-578-3906.

Image Credit: Unidentified Wiki

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