At 5:30pm on April 7, 2011, a motorist travelling along US Highway 12 just outside Morton, Lewis County, Washington pulled over to take a break. While parked some 100 yards near a logging road in the Peterman Hill area, they noticed partial skeletal remains several hundred yards off the road.
Upon the remains being brought in for examination, it was determined that they belonged to a female who had died approximately three months prior, in either late 2010 or early 2011.
Due to the state of the remains, a cause of death was unable to be determined. However, investigators believe it is the result of a homicide, as it doesn’t appear she could have ended up in the wooded area of her own accord. As such, her death has been deemed suspicious.
Much of what is known about Jane Doe is the result of DNA phenotype testing done by Parabon NanoLabs in Reston, Virginia.
Jane Doe is believed to have been between 18 and 30 years old and, according to testing, is thought to have been an African American female of East African or Somali descent. This is in stark contrast to what investigators initially thought, as it was at first believed she was white with an unknown admixture.
Currently, her height and weight are unknown, but she is said to have been of a petite build. According to tests, her hair was possibly black and her eyes were brown, and she had a medium to light brown complexion, without any freckles.
Early into the investigation, it was believed Jane Doe could have possibly been a victim of Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes. Keyes, who was known to be active in Vermont, Alaska, Washington and New York, has three confirmed victims, with many more believed to be likely. Of their own accord and not at the urging of the FBI, local authorities looked into his M.O. to see if it matched that of the remains found. However, nothing related to this aspect of the investigation has been publicly released. Keyes died by suicide in 2012 at the Anchorage Correctional Complex in Anchorage, Alaska.
It’s believed by investigators that Jane Doe was likely killed elsewhere and her body dumped where it was discovered. As such, it’s felt she most likely wasn’t from Lewis County.
Based on evidence found at the scene, it’s believed there may possibly be a military connection, but police haven’t revealed too much about this in order to not jeopardize their investigation.
1) Rachael Anderson, who went missing from Moscow, Idaho on April 16, 2010.
2) Ann Burr, who went missing from Tacoma, Washington on August 31, 1961.
3) Nachida Chandara, who went missing from Phoenix, Arizona on March 14, 2007.
4) Danica Childs, who went missing from Federal Way, Washington on December 21, 2007.
5) Kelsey Collins, who went missing from Everett, Washington on May 9, 2009.
6) Kayla Croft-Payne, who went missing from Chehalis, Washington on April 20, 2010.
7) Penney Cruser, who went missing from Spokane, Washington on March 21, 1997.
8) Joan Hansen, who went missing from King County, Washington on August 10, 1962.
9) Suzanne Justis, who went missing from Portland, Oregon on November 5, 1973.
10) Ruthie Kindness, who went missing from Parkland, Washington on February 7, 2011.
11) Viridiana Maldonado, who went missing from North Charleston, South Carolina on October 11, 2007.
12) Heather “Shawn” Maude, who went missing from Roseburg, Oregon on July 1, 2009.
13) Alyssa McLemore, who went missing from Kent, Washington on April 9, 2009.
14) Nancy Moyer, who went missing from Tenino, Washington on March 6, 2009.
15) Winter Parks, who went missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 29, 2009.
16) Marizela Perez, who went missing from Seattle, Washington on March 5, 2011.
17) Peggy Wilker, who went missing from Tacoma, Washington on October 12, 1986.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s DNA and dentals are currently available for comparison.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are being asked to contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286 or the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office at 360-740-1378. Tips can also be called into the Lewis County Coroner’s Office at 360-740-1376 or Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.
Image Credit: Parabon NanoLabs