Southern Illinois mystery: Authorities try to identify murder case victim ‘Ina Jane Doe’

·2 min read

This story first appeared in The Southern Illinoisan.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is pursuing new technology in identifying a 1993 murder victim whose decapitated head was found in a local state park.

Police are using new technology anthropological re-analysis and DNA extraction to identify the unknown woman named “Ina Jane Doe.”

The presumed white female’s decapitated head was found on Jan. 27, 1993, on the side of a wooded roadway within Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, police said in a news release Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office has investigated Ina Jane Doe’s cases for nearly three decades and has still been unable to identify her.

Digital Recreation of Ina Jane Doe without eye makeup.
Digital Recreation of Ina Jane Doe without eye makeup.

Thanks to new technology that was not available three decades ago, police are able to use new identification techniques.

Avenues pursued include anthropological re-analysis from University of New Hampshire assistant professor Dr. Amy Michael, DNA extraction and sequencing by Astrea Labs, and forensic genetic genealogy by Redgrave Research Forensic Services, police said.

New forensic art has also been prepared by sketch artist Carl Koppelman to reflect updated findings.

One image is without eye makeup and the other is with eye makeup, police said.

The news release posted on Facebook garnered hundreds of comments with people comparing the new forensic images with images of other missing persons; however, so far, no identifications have been proven.

The head of the victim was originally found by two girls — ages 10 and 12 — who were running through the park, according to an Associated Press newspaper clipping obtained by The Southern from January 1993.

The head was dumped on a peninsula that extends into Rend Lake, the story read.

The victim was estimated to be 30-to-50 years old at the time of her death, and she had likely died two to three days prior to discovery, police said.

The police described her as having long reddish hair and a pin-shaped mole in her left ear.

She’d had extensive dental work, including a silverpoint filling, and she had possibly worn braces at some point, police said.

Original Associated Press article published in the The Post-Dispatch in the Jan. 31, 1993, edition.
Original Associated Press article published in the The Post-Dispatch in the Jan. 31, 1993, edition.

The victim also had skeletal asymmetry that, in life, may have been visible in her facial features.

Additionally, she may have experienced issues with her neck, police said.

Anyone with information about this female’s identification or this investigation can contact Detective Captain Bobby Wallace at the Sheriff’s Office 618-244-8004 or Crimestoppers at 618-242-TIPS (8477).

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