On February 6, 2007, a 14-year-old boy discovered a bone protruding from the dirt in a wooded area between Ashton Court and Sarah Avenue in Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida. Upon discovering it, he notified his mother, a nurse, who identified the bone as belonging to a human and contacted the police. During a 10-hour excavation the next day, police unearthed the rest of the remains, which were partially skeletonized. The body was lying on its side, with its knee bent into the air.
The area in which the remains were found is in an overgrown thicket that is shaded by an oak tree in the middle of an industrial park in south Sarasota. It’s about 50 yards south of 5438 Ashton Court and is located behind an old body shop.
An autopsy was performed upon the remains being brought in for examination, which showed the remains had been in the ground for seven to 12 months. A cause of death wasn’t able to be determined. However, authorities are of the belief it is the result of a homicide.
Jane Doe’s body showed signs of trauma, as she had suffered skull fractures, consistent with blunt-force trauma, that were most likely caused before she had been buried.
In the months following Jane Doe’s disappearance, police canvassed the area, including surrounding businesses, but no one recalled seeing anything suspicious at the time it’s estimated she had been buried. Over the next year, flyers would be printed and the area would be revisited, but no one recognized her.
In the early years of the investigation, a then lieutenant with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office would visit the area to try and look for any signs that someone had returned to the area to check on the remains.
Investigators believe her killer must have been familiar with the area and known it would successfully conceal a body.
Jane Doe is described as white, and is believed to have been between 36 and 45 years old. She stood anywhere from 5’5″ to 5’7″, and weighed approximately 145 to 165 pounds. She had long, reddish hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. Her eye colour is currently unknown due to the state of decomposition.
At the time of her discovery, Jane Doe was wearing a light-coloured Spice Wear skirt with a leather string belt; a multi-coloured cotton pullover shirt with an Italian label; dark-coloured thong-style underpants; and two pairs of socks, one pair turquoise in colour and the other white. She wasn’t wearing any shoes, which has led investigators to believe she was most likely carried to the area in which she was buried. Her clothing has since been sent to the FBI for processing for trace hairs and fibres.
Her nose and right wrist show signs they may have been fractured at some point in her life. As well, her teeth showed signs of moderate periodontal disease, and she had multiple metallic alloy dental fillings.
Jane Doe had saline breast implants, which were manufactured by the brand MENTOR in 1998 and were the Smooth Round Moderate Style 1600. They were made before medical companies added serial numbers to implants, and while implants are usually used within the year they are manufactured, investigators have said the surgery could have occurred anywhere from 1998 to 2007. The sub-glandular surgery Jane Doe underwent is considered uncommon, as the implants were inserted below the pectoral muscle, yet above the mammary gland. While it is said to be less painful and heal faster, most surgeons often opt to use other methods.
Investigators are unsure where Jane Doe is from or where she was killed. Testing done at a lab in Gainesville, Florida determined she was of European descent. Testing of her bones, hair and teeth were being performed at The University of Florida to determine her water consumption and diet, in order to find out which area of the country she lived in. However, the results have not been publicly released.
1) Tamara Toy, who went missing from Bradenton, Florida on May 6, 2006.
2) Angela Bates, who went missing from Oklahoma.
3) Tina D’Ambrosio, who went missing from Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 1996.
4) Danielle Day, who went missing from Lindenwold, Jersey on March 30, 2001.
5) Jeannine Erwin, who went missing from Melbourne, Florida on March 12, 2006.
6) Bonnie Kelly, who went missing from Aurora, Illinois on July 9, 2003.
7) Gail Russell, who went missing from Bayonet Point, Florida on September 4, 1995.
8) Traci Kegley, who went missing from Elmore County, Alabama on April 26, 1998.
9) Carmen Hetrick, who went missing from Colorado.
10) Sheila Main, who went missing from Pemberville, Ohio on August 17, 2006.
11) Charlene Villinger, who went missing from Virginia Beach, Virginia on September 4, 1989.
12) Sonya Bradley, who went missing from Eddyville, Kentucky on October 10, 2002.
13) Ylenia Carrisi, who went missing from New Orleans, Louisiana on January 6, 1994.
14) Jennifer Casper-Ross, who went missing from Reno, Nevada on May 5, 2005.
15) Hazel Klug, who went missing from Richmond, Virginia on May 20, 1986.
16) Parley Pate, who went missing from Raleigh, North Carolina on February 9, 1993.
17) Patricia Schmidt, who went missing from Richmond, Virginia on June 4, 1985.
18) Tiffany Sessions, who went missing from Gainesville, Florida on February 9, 1989.
19) Paula Waid, who went missing from Land O’Lakes, Florida on March 15, 1991.
20) Tammie Walker, who went missing from New Port Richey, Florida on October 13, 2006.
21) Kimberly Harley, who went missing from Jacksonville, Florida on March 12, 2005.
22) Jodi Huisentruit, who went missing from Mason City, Iowa on June 27, 1995.
23) Karen Heim, who went missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 26, 2005.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s dental records and DNA are currently available for comparison.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at either 941-861-4915, 941-861-4920 or 941-861-4940. Tips can also be called into the District 12 Medical Examiner at 941-361-6909 or FBI ViCAP at 1-800-634-4097.
Image Credit: The Doe Network