Cold Case: 32 years after her death, deputies seek to ID Jane Doe

2013-06-26T11:05:00Z 2014-10-24T09:50:38Z Cold Case: 32 years after her death, deputies seek to ID Jane DoeKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 26, 2013 11:05 am  • 

A fresh-faced young woman with golden blond hair, pale brows, delicate features and full lips is depicted in a black-and-white portrait.

Though her expression is neutral, she seems about to break into a sly smile.

The image is of the woman as she looked 32 years ago.

The day she stopped aging.

The day someone killed her and dumped her body along a dusty dirt road near the fairgrounds southeast of Tucson.

The image was created by a computer, based on a scan of the woman's skull. Cold-case detectives are hoping the portrait and several items of clothing will be enough for someone to identify the woman who has spent nearly three decades in the county cemetery as a Jane Doe. Detective Mark O'Dell of the Pima County Sheriff's Department was going through cold cases last year when he came across a file for the young woman, whose body was found April 8, 1981, by people riding off-road vehicles near the Pima County Fairgrounds.

Her body had been in the desert for at least a couple of days and there were "obvious signs of trauma to her head and body," O'Dell said, indicating her death was a homicide.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided funds to exhume the body. A hospital performed a CT scan of the skull and the disk containing the images was sent to the center's office in Washington, D.C.

Based on a scan, as well as input from a forensic anthropologist, and photos taken at the time of autopsy, center artists using the latest computer technology can create a "facial approximation," said Bruce Anderson, forensic anthropologist at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner.

A DNA sample also was taken from the remains and it may soon be entered into CODIS - the FBI's Combined DNA Index System - with the hope of finding a match, provided kin of the unidentified woman have submitted their DNA, Anderson said.

O'Dell said the remains are those of a white woman between 18 and 22 years old, who had blond hair, stood 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed between 100 and 110 pounds. She also had an opaque white spot on one of her front teeth.

She was wearing a navy blue Chain Reaction brand blouse that had red sleeves with floral print; H.I.S. brand bluejeans, size three, with a patch near the left rear pocket; white ankle socks with pink pompoms; and brown suede shoes.

Two jackets were found near the body, one a blue denim Oops California brand with red-and-white striped cuffs and collar; the other a light blue that had two pockets embellished with white stitching on the front and three brass-type buttons.

Anyone with information should to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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