At around 9:17am on November 23, 2008, three deer hunters were walking through a secluded, wooded area in rural Ashford, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin when they came upon the partially decomposed body of a unidentified female. Her remains had been submerged in a shallow creek, which had frozen over due to the cold weather and was located near an abandoned farm off W4617 Skyline Drive.
The area in which she was found is approximately halfway between Fond du Lac and Milwaukee, about one mile north of Highway 28 and east I-41, near the Mayville and Kewaskum exit of the interstate. It is a known dumping site.
In order to extract the remains from the creek, investigators had to carefully chisel away at the ice, while scuba divers searched the bottom for evidence.
An autopsy was performed upon Jane Doe’s remains being brought in for examination, where it was determined she’d likely died between July and September 2008, this based on insect traces.
Toxicology tests were conducted in order to see if there were drugs or alcohol in her system, but the results of said tests have not been released.
While a cause of death couldn’t be determined due to the state of the remains, investigators believe it to have been the result of foul play and not suicide, given the remote location and the fact Jane Doe was not wearing socks or shoes when found.
While Jane Doe’s ethnicity is not known, she’s believed to have been white, Hispanic or biracial. However, Native American or Asian heritage haven’t been ruled out. She is estimated to have been 15 to 21 years old at the time of her death, meaning her birthday likely fell between 1987 and 1994. She stood between 4’10” and 5’4″, with an average frame, and weighed approximately 110 to 135 pounds. While her eye colour was unable to be determined due to the level of decomposition, her hair appeared to have been light brown to dark blonde in colour, with highlights. It was shoulder-length, around 12″ to 14″.
When found, Jane Doe was wearing a Zoey Beth black, strapless top with pink trim and a pink bow that tied in the back, size small; a pair of Angels blue jeans, size three, that were rolled up at the bottom; a pink bra; a bracelet with pendants; and a dark hair tie on her right wrist. Divers also located a penny-sized St. Benedict medal at the bottom of the creek, but it’s unknown if it belonged to her. Her clothing is believed to have been purchased at a Family Dollar Store or a general retailer, with the top itself having a shipping date between July 1 and July 15, 2008.
Investigators have made up a mannequin wearing the clothing, in the hopes someone will recognize the ensemble.
According to an anthropological examination of the remains, Jane Doe was likely pigeon-toed or knock-kneed, or both, something that was likely noticeable, as her feet would have been turned slightly inward. She had also fractured one of her left ribs early on in her life, and appears to have had Spina Bifida Occulta, which may have been asymptomatic.
Jane Doe had received excellent dental care when alive. She had fillings on four of her bottom molars and four dental sealants on four at the top, with no signs of cavities. She is also noted as having had a slight overbite, which may have been noticeable, and overall her teeth were in good alignment.
In 2011, she was laid to rest in Cattaraugus Cemetery in Waupun, Wisconsin. There is a QR code on her gravestone, which those who visit the cemetery can use to learn more about her case.
On April 26, 2018, Jane Doe’s remains were exhumed in order to perform advanced isotope testing on her bones and teeth, in the hopes new clues could be uncovered about where she’d come from, as it was the belief of investigators that she was not native to Wisconsin. DNA phenotyping was also conducted in order to get an estimation of her ethnic background, eye colour, skin tone and facial shape, and genetic genealogy research is being utilized to try and locate any potential relatives.
When the test results came back from the University of Texas and Utah’s IsoForensics laboratory, it was determined that she was from the southwestern United States, likely Las Cruces or Albuquerque, New Mexico or Flagstaff, Arizona. She had resided in the Midwest, likely southwestern Wisconsin, southern Minnesota or northern Iowa, for approximately a year or less before she died.
As a result of these tests, the sheriff’s office began to reach out to other law enforcement agencies in the specified regions. However, no concrete leads have come out of these contacts.
No phenotype report or ethnicity estimation has been released.
It was initially theorized by investigators that Jane Doe’s death was related to the West Mesa Murders in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2009, the remains of eleven women and a foetus were found in the desert. However, they have since abandoned this theory.
Investigators have created a Facebook page in order to generate leads in the case. The case was also featured on America’s Most Wanted.
1) Amanda Marie Berry, who went missing from Cleveland, Ohio on April 21, 2003. She was found alive in May 2013.
2) Connie McCallister, who went missing from Wausau, Wisconsin on August 15, 2004. She was found alive in September 2013.
3) Brittany Peart, who went missing from Elkton, Maryland on July 25, 2008. She was found deceased on December 4, 2011.
4) Audrey Jean Good Backeberg, who went missing from Reedsburg, Wisconsin on July 7, 1962.
5) Patricia Ann Schmidt, who went missing from Richmond, Virginia on June 4, 1985.
6) Tiffany Louise Sessions, who went missing from Gainesville, Florida on February 9, 1989.
7) Victoria Jane Owczynsky, who went missing from Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 26, 1990.
8) Shannon Elaine Riley Arif, who went missing from Clarksville, Tennessee on March 17, 1998.
9) Stacy Ann Kathleen Rudolph, who went missing from Medford, Wisconsin on December 2, 2000.
10) Bethany Anne Sinclair, who went missing from Chesterfield, New Hampshire on February 4, 2001.
11) Por Soua Her, who went missing from Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 12, 2002.
12) Mindy Lou Arnett, who went missing from St. Ignace, Michigan on August 14, 2002.
13) Tabitha Tuders, who went missing from Nashville, Tennessee on April 29, 2003.
14) Becky Marie Marzo, who went missing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 15, 2003.
15) Maura Murray, who went missing from Haverhill, New Hampshire on February 9, 2004.
16) Tiffany Reid, who went missing from Shiprock, New Mexico on May 17, 2004.
17) Ashley Renee Martinez, who went missing from Saint Joseph, Missouri on July 6, 2004.
18) Amy Lyn Haueter, who went missing from Fern Creek, Kentucky on January 14, 2005.
19) Nina Brenda Herron, who went missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 14, 2005.
20) Madeline Kelly Edman, who went missing from La Crosse, Wisconsin on July 29, 2005.
21) Jillian Elizabeth Henderson-Ortiz, who went missing from Moriarty, New Mexico on January 16, 2006.
22) Vanessa Reed, who went missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 13, 2006.
23) Diana Mazariegos, who went missing from Fontana, California on June 23, 2006.
24) Roxanne Elizabeth Paltauf, who went missing from Austin, Texas on July 7, 2006.
25) Tammie Lin Walker, who went missing New Port Richey, Florida on October 13, 2006.
26) Brittany Stalman, who went missing from Delta, British Columbia on November 13, 2006.
27) Erinn Rogers, who went missing from Modesto, California on January 8, 2007.
28) Kateri Marie Mishow, who went missing from Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 8, 2007.
29) Nachida Keota Chandara, who went missing from Phoenix, Arizona on March 14, 2007.
30) Ashley Nicole Summers, who went missing from Cleveland, Ohio on July 9, 2007.
31) Devinee Maria Priscilla Pingul, who went missing from Las Vegas, Nevada on December 31, 2007.
32) Yasmin Rayon Acree, who went missing from Chicago, Illinois on January 15, 2008.
33) Kyla Gabrielle Porter, who went missing from Holiday, Florida on February 15, 2008.
34) Jascie Kara Kaywaykla, who went missing from Lawton, Oklahoma on April 7, 2008.
35) Claudette Osborne-Tyo, who went missing from Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 25, 2008.
36) Dana Jane Bruce, who went missing from Sedalia, Missouri on October 4, 2008.
37) Sarita Camacho, who went missing from San Diego, California on October 15, 2008.
38) Krista Robin Lueth, who went missing from Lansing, Michigan on November 11, 2008.
39) Stacy Ann Peterson, who went missing from Bolingbrook, Illinois on October 28, 2007.
40) Laurie Jean Depies, who went missing from Menasha, Wisconsin on August 19, 1992.
41) Amber Lynn Wilde, who went missing from Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 23, 1998.
42) Judy Lynn Rush, who went missing from Columbia Heights, Minnesota on August 1, 2009. She was found deceased in April 2011.
43) Lisa Michelle Stebic, who went missing from Plainfield, Illinois on April 30, 2007.
44) Valerie Brooke Scott, who went missing on April 6, 2008.
45) Jessica Lynn Radaj, who was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and passed away on August 6, 2011.
46) Amber Elizabeth Cates, who went missing from Maury County, Tennessee on April 11, 2004.
47) Anna Walter, who went missing from Edwardsville, Illinois on October 27, 2003.
48) Trudy Leann Appleby, who went missing from Moline, Illinois on August 21, 1996.
49) Christina Calayca, who went missing from Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, Ontario in August 2007.
50) Rachel Louise Cooke, who went missing from Georgetown, Texas on January 10, 2002.
51) Christine Lindsey Walters, who went missing from Eureka, California on November 14, 2008.
52) Georgina Lynn DeJesus, who went missing from Cleveland, Ohio on April 2, 2004. She was found alive in May 2013.
53) Veronica Emily Martinez, who went missing from Tracy, California on March 29, 2001.
54) Carina Lynn Karras, who went missing from Grayslake, Illinois on December 31, 2005.
55) Bianca Elaine Lebron, who went missing from Bridgeport, Connecticut on November 7, 2001.
56) Shannon Mary Dale Alexander, who went missing from Maniwaki, Quebec on September 6, 2008.
57) Maisy Objick, who went missing from Maniwaki, Quebec on September 6, 2008.
58) Britney Janae Wright, who went missing from Vernon, Florida on July 22, 2007.
59) Shannon Lynn Fischer, who went missing from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on December 18, 2006.
60) Cédrika Provencher, who went missing from Trois-Rivières, Quebec on July 31, 2007.
61) April Dawn Andrews, who went missing from Pea Ridge, Arkansas on November 18, 2006.
62) Griselda Aguirre, who went missing from Hartford, Connecticut on July 30, 2008.
63) Kristina Delane Branum, who went missing from Hardin County, Tennessee on July 27, 2006.
64) Sara Anne Bushland, who went missing from Spooner, Wisconsin on April 3, 1996.
65) Christine Julian, who went missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 14, 2003.
66) Brookley Chantille Louks, who went missing from Greenwood, Indiana on June 24, 2002.
67) Bethany Leanne Markowski, who went missing from Jackson, Tennessee on March 4, 2001.
68) Deborah A. McCall, who went missing from Downers Grove, Illinois on November 5, 1979.
69) Leah Rachelle Peebles, who went missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 22, 2006.
70) Stephanie Marie Pinero Morales, who went missing from Ceiba, Puerto Rico on November 26, 2008.
71) Erin Kay Pospisil, who went missing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 3, 2001.
72) Ana Luisa Reyna, who went missing from Dallas, Texas on August 29, 2008.
73) Darlene Marie Trujillo, who went missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 4, 2001.
74) Angel Dawn Wilson, who went missing from Spokane, Washington on August 10, 2007.
75) Virginia Lynne Wood, who went missing from Chocowinity, North Carolina on March 10, 2007.
76) Cynthia Wingyan Yeung, who went missing from El Cerrito, California on March 14, 2008.
77) Adrianna Hope Garcia, who went missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 29, 2004.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jane Doe’s dentals and DNA are available for comparison.
Those with information regarding the identity of Jane Doe are asked to contact the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office at 920-929-3390, 920-929-3388 or 920-939-3383. Tips can also be called into the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office at 920-929-3366 or anonymously through the tip line at 920-906-4777.
Image Credit: NCMEC/Carl Koppelman