he Daily Guide has been working with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department(PCSD) to revisit some of the county’s cold cases in an attempt to assist the department in generating leads, finding justice for victims, and peace for families. Anyone with any information on a cold case is encouraged to call the tip line at 573-774-7948. One of the oldest, violent, and perplexing cold cases is that of Jane Doe.
Doe is the victim of a murder, who has gone more than three decades without a name. She is getting closer to having a name, thanks to modern technology. Additionally, the PCSD is asking that individuals who may have come into contact with the victim come forward to add more pieces to the puzzle.

The Daily Guide has been working with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department(PCSD)  to revisit some of the county’s cold cases in an attempt to assist the department in generating leads, finding justice for victims, and peace for families. Anyone with any information on a cold case is encouraged to call the tip line at 573-774-7948. One of the oldest, violent, and perplexing cold cases is that of Jane Doe.
Doe is the victim of a murder, who has gone more than three decades without a name. She  is getting closer to having a name, thanks to modern technology. Additionally, the PCSD  is asking that individuals who may have come into contact with the victim come forward to add more pieces to the puzzle.  

What can DNA and bones tell us?
Doe’s body was exhumed in May of last year in an attempt to see if DNA could be extracted from the remains, as well as any other evidence that could be collected.
Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long announced earlier this week, in his weekly column, that both mitochondrial DNA and STR-DNA (Short Term Repeats) were retrieved from Jane Doe’s remains by the University of North Texas Forensic Sciences Department.
The fact that scientists were able to extract DNA from Doe’s remains has Long, Sgt. in Charge of  Detectives Linda Burgess and Detective Doug Renno excited that an answer to Doe’s identity is only a DNA swab away.
The DNA profile has been added to databases such as CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and the FBI national data base , allowing the capability to confirm or eliminate matches. Renno said that he had already been contacted about one missing woman who was not a match.
Burgess said that family members who believe Doe may be a relative should get a DNA swab. She said that people may not realize that their DNA is not on file or in a database because, at the time Doe’s body was found, the technology wasn’t around yet.
Doe’s biological profile, to determine racial identity, based on her bones,  “are supportive of the assessment of possible Amerindian or Mestizo (“Hispanic”) ancestry but are not conclusive.”

The crime scene
The Daily Guide visited the crime scene with Burgess and Renno to revisit the area and discuss the facts of the case on Thursday evening.
Doe’s  body was discovered on May 25, 1981 in a low water crossing off of Highway MM north of Dixon, beaten and strangled with a pair of panty hose. The location is off the beaten path, on a gravel road, in an area that was, and still is, a place that young people gather for parties.
While visiting the area, signs of recent activity were present, including a place where there had been a fire and empty beverage containers. Renno noted that the spot is not a place that someone from outside the area would find “on their own.” The road going to the low water crossing is a rough gravel road, that is very steep in places, and curvy.
The location is isolated, on a creek bed, at a low water crossing in an area that would be known only to locals.
“A trucker couldn’t have driven in here, without knowing where it was and just dumped her here,” Renno said.
Renno and Burgess confirmed that they had received information, sometime after the exhumation, that there may have been a party nearby around the time that Doe was killed. The detectives said they hope that any individual who may have any information about that would come forward to help add pieces to the puzzle.
Burgess noted that people often don’t realize that they know something or think it probably isn’t important, but they “have no way of knowing” whether or not it will mean something to the investigation.
The detectives also noted that if teenagers were in the area nearly 35 years ago drinking, smoking marijuana, or other activities that might have gotten them into trouble at the time, it wouldn’t get them into trouble now.

How did Jane Doe die?
Doe’s death was violent.  She was beaten and strangled with a pair of pantyhose. Renno said she was the victim of an “obvious assault” with blows to her face and head. According to Renno, the autopsy showed mild trauma to the vaginal walls, as well.
She was discovered lying with the midsection of her body up out of the creek, on a section of gravel, her head under the water, fully dressed, and her feet under water. According to Long, last year, Doe had most likely been dead roughly four or five hours when her body was discovered at 8:47 a.m.
Renno noted that the creek is spring-fed and the water is cold, even in the summer. The cold water could possibly affect body temperature and time of death estimates.
Doe is described as dark complected, in her 30's, with a full upper denture plate, five foot, three inches tall and weighing 130 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Missing Persons Clearing house and the Daily Guide archives report that she was found wearing a dark blue, long-sleeved blouse with white pinstripes (brand name Try 1), jeans (brand name In Gear), blue bikini panties and a bra with Jubel or Julie written inside the bra in magic marker. She was not wearing shoes, no shoes were found at the scene and she was found with a pair of pantyhose wrapped around her neck.
Renno said that the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s original report on the case said that investigators had walked up and down the creek looking for Doe’s shoes.

Why is it important to solve this case?
Identifying Doe and solving this case has become near and dear to the detectives on the case, as well as members of the department, as a whole. They believe this woman deserves her name, a proper burial, and justice, if they can get it.
Burgess told the Daily Guide that when it was time for her remains to be transported to Texas for forensic analysis the department decided that it would not be shipping her like a package. Instead, she was driven by Burgess and another officer to Texas.
Burgess and Renno also said they plan to see to giving Doe a proper burial, when she returns to Pulaski County in within the few months. However, they are hoping that her family has been located by that time and she’ll be able to have her real name placed on her tombstone.
Burgess asked Renno, “What eats at you the most with this case?”
Renno said, at first, it was “how to get things done,” such as the exhumation, learning about resources through NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System), but now, as a cop, he would like to know what happened.
“I want to know what happened to her. Who did it? Somebody knew her. Somebody knows what happened to her,” Renno said.
Burgess said, for her, she knows there’s a family out there missing their daughter, their sister, or their mother.
“Somebody out there grieves for her, mourns for her. They’re asking where is my mother? Where is my daughter?” Burgess said.
Renno said he wanted to fell like “everything that can be done, has been done” to solve this case and give Doe her name back.
“She deserves to know that every agency has done everything they can to find her. She deserves to know that the community has done everything it can do to find her,” Burgess said.

What’s next?
PCSD will be making arrangements to bring Doe back to Pulaski County and has begun the process of reviewing missing person profiles, in an attempt to identify Doe. They will be making requests for DNA comparisons where they can.
Renno said none of what has been accomplished on this case, so far or in the future, would have been possible if it wasn’t for NamUs. The forensic analysis of Doe’s remains were done through NamUs and did not cost the county anything.
PCSD will continue to investigate this case and hope that some new leads will emerge from this story. Anyone with any information, no matter how small, can call the tip line at 573-774-7948. Burgess said the department follows up on every lead.