Caledonia Jane Doe

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Caledonia Jane Doe
Cali Doe.jpg
The first and most recent reconstructions of Cali Doe, showing what she may have looked like when she was alive.
Born approx. 1958–1967
Died November 8, 1979(1979-11-08) (aged 13–19)
Caledonia, New York, United States of America
Cause of death
Homicide (gunshot wounds to head and back)
Body discovered
42°55′03″N 77°46′35″W / 42.917363°N 77.776299°W / 42.917363; -77.776299Coordinates: 42°55′03″N 77°46′35″W / 42.917363°N 77.776299°W / 42.917363; -77.776299 (approximate)
Resting place
Greenmount Cemetery, Dansville, New York, United States of America[1]
42°32′48″N 77°41′05″W / 42.546588°N 77.684836°W / 42.546588; -77.684836 (approximate)
Other names "Cali Doe"
Known for Unidentified victim of homicide
Height 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) (approximate)
Weight 120 pounds (54 kg) (approximate)
Facebook page (contains postmortem images)

The Caledonia Jane Doe or "Cali Doe" is the name given to an unidentified young female homicide victim found in the town of Caledonia, Livingston County, New York, on November 9 or 10, 1979.[2][3][4] Investigators believe that she may have come to the Caledonia area from southern California, or perhaps Arizona or northern Mexico. Because her true identity has yet to be discovered, the generic name Jane Doe has been incorporated into her name, which has been done with countless other cases.[5][6][7]

Caledonia Jane Doe's case is conspicuous among American unidentified persons cases for its unusually geographically broad sourcing of physical evidence, the pronounced youth of its victim, and the length of time for which it has remained unsolved though being repeatedly and widely publicized by investigating law enforcement agencies. Consequently, the case continually attracts a high level of notice from the public; in the decades since Caledonia Jane Doe's death was first advertised, the Livingston County Sheriff's Office has investigated more than ten thousand tips and leads from around North America, none of which to date has yielded the identity of the victim or her assailant.[5]

The case is also noteworthy for being one of very few cases set in an American jurisdiction to make use of the growing science of forensic palynology.[8]

Death and discovery[edit]

Caledonia Jane Doe is located in New York
Body site
Body site
Location where Caledonia Jane Doe's remains were found in the state of New York, about 75 miles' (120 kilometers') drive from New York–Ontario border

On the morning of November 9, 1979, a farmer in Caledonia saw red clothing in one of his corn fields and went to investigate, believing that he had spotted a trespassing hunter. In the field he found the body of a young girl.[5][9] Police arrived on scene at 10:04 am.[10]

The girl, later named "Caledonia Jane Doe" or "Cali Doe" by investigators, was fully clothed. Her body showed no signs of sexual assault. She died from severe hemorrhage caused by two gunshot wounds, one to the head over the right eye and one to the back. Her pockets had been turned inside out, suggesting that if she carried any identification, her killer had removed it.[5][6]

Caledonia Jane Doe's autopsy indicated that she had first been shot in the head while next to the road bordering the corn field, at or near a blood spot found on the ground. Her body was then dragged into the corn field, where she was shot again in the back and left for dead on November 8, 1979. Heavy rains on the night of her death washed away much potential forensic evidence.[5][6][9]

Caledonia Jane Doe had been dumped about 20 feet (6 m) from the south side of U.S. Route 20 and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the intersection of U.S. Route 20 with New York State Route 5. The location of the site is approximately 42°55′03″N 77°46′35″W / 42.917363°N 77.776299°W / 42.917363; -77.776299, less than half a mile from the town of Caledonia's border with the town of Avon, about 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Rochester, New York and about 10 miles (16 km) south of the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90 section).[6][11]


External images
Recent reconstruction of Cali Doe
Second reconstruction, age regression
Mortuary photograph

Caledonia Jane Doe is believed to have been between the ages of 13 and 19 (born sometime between 1958 and 1967). The height and weight of the victim were estimated to be 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) and 120 pounds (54 kg), respectively.[11][12] She had brown eyes and wavy, light brown shoulder-length hair that had been frosted in the front (with blonde highlights) about four months prior to her death and was growing out. Her toenails were painted with coral-colored nail polish.[3]

She had visible tan lines from a halter top or bikini, suggesting that she may have come from a region with abundant October–November sunshine, as sun tanning beds were uncommon in the 1970s.[6][9] There were freckles on the backs of her shoulders and acne on her face and chest.[3]

Caledonia Jane Doe's teeth were in natural condition, with no restorations or fillings. She appeared never to have received care from a dentist. Some of her permanent first and second molars suffered from severe dental caries (cavities and decay). Consistent with Caledonia Jane Doe's young appearance, none of her permanent third molars (wisdom teeth) had erupted.[3] Her blood type was A-.[3]

A few hours before her death, Caledonia Jane Doe had eaten sweet corn; potatoes; and boiled, canned ham, possibly from a diner in Lima, New York, where she had been seen by a waitress, with a man.[6][13]

Clothing and jewelry[edit]

Reconstruction of the Jane Doe with her jacket and necklace incorporated
External images
Clothing worn by Cali Doe
Heart and key keychains
Turquoise necklace

The unidentified girl was wearing a red nylon-lined man's windbreaker jacket with black stripes down the arms, marked inside with the label "Auto Sports Products, Inc.", a boy's multicolored plaid button-up shirt with collar, tan corduroy pants (size 7), blue knee socks, white bra (size 32C),[3] and blue panties.[11] She wore brown rippled-sole shoes said to be popular in the "Venjiont"[6][dubious ][better source needed] area in the late 1970s.[note 1] The red Auto Sports Products jacket was produced as a one-time promotional item and could not be traced after distribution.[6]

She also wore a silver necklace with three small turquoise stones. The necklace had a homemade appearance and resembled replica Native American jewelry made in the southwestern United States.[9][10] Attached to the girl's pants' front belt loops were two metal keychains, one shaped like a heart with a key-shaped cutout and inscribed with the words "He who holds the Key can open my heart", the other shaped like a key meant to fit the cutout in the heart.[9][11]

Pollen evidence[edit]

In 2006, Paul Chambers, a recently-hired investigator in the Monroe County, New York medical examiner's office, asked for and received permission to send Caledonia Jane Doe's clothing to the Palynology Laboratory at Texas A&M University, where it was checked for plant pollen trace evidence.[5] Among the types of pollen found on the clothing by the Texas A&M University researchers were grains from Casuarina (Australian pine, or "she oak"), Quercus (oak), Picea (spruce), and Betula (birch). The clothing pollen grains were compared to a control sample of pollen grains taken directly from the rural New York site where Caledonia Jane Doe's body had been found in 1979.[5][7]

Oak grows widely all over the United States, and spruce and birch grow in New York, among many places in the United States. However, no oak, spruce, or birch pollen grains were found in the control sample, and neither spruce nor birch trees were found growing near the body dump site.[7] Caledonia Jane Doe's spruce and birch pollen came from species common in mountainous areas of California.[14]

Australian pine, or Casuarina, is an invasive genus of tree that grows in a limited number of locations in North America: south Florida; south Texas; parts of Mexico; the campuses of the University of Arizona and Arizona State University; and three regions in California: the North Bay of San Francisco, the San Luis Obispo area, and the San Diego area.[7] Casuarina cannot survive the autumn and winter seasons in the temperate climate of the New York region where Caledonia Jane Doe was found.[14][15] She or her clothing would not have acquired the Casuarina pollen grains at the dump site.

Overall, researchers believe the southern California and San Diego region to be the best geographical pollen print match location for the grains from Caledonia Jane Doe's clothing.[7] Based on the pollen evidence and the girl's visible tan lines, forensic researchers suggested that Caledonia Jane Doe may have originally lived in the southwestern United States near San Diego, California, then traveled (perhaps by hitchhiking) through the Sierra Nevada mountains where spruce and birch grow, passing through Reno, Nevada, and then traveled across the country to New York, where she was murdered.[5][7][16]

Other details[edit]

Police sketch of as person of interest who may have been involved in her murder

Police believe the murder weapon to have been a .38-caliber handgun. Investigators located a spent slug in the dirt underneath the unidentified girl's body, which they compared forensically to hundreds of other bullets fired from confiscated weapons. Despite the efforts of investigators to trace weapons from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Mexico, the slug has not been matched to a specific gun.[5]

As Caledonia, New York, sits a driving distance of approximately 75 miles (120 km) from the United States–Canada border via the New York State Thruway and Interstate 90, the possibility remains that Caledonia Jane Doe may have been Canadian rather than American or Mexican.[6] Interstate 90 also runs from coast to coast within the United States, beginning in Seattle, Washington and ending in Boston, Massachusetts.

Because she could eventually be identified by a match between her living relatives' DNA and her own, Caledonia Jane Doe's body was exhumed in September 2005 for purposes of DNA extraction.[17] The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification was able to produce nuclear STR (nucDNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA) profiles of her DNA via forensic DNA profiling. Her DNA profiles are stored in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a database that allows United States public crime laboratories to compare and exchange DNA profiles in order to identify criminal suspects and crime victims.[3]

When she was exhumed, several of her teeth were sent for mineralogical and forensic isotope analysis, to connect the composition of her teeth with the composition and mineral content of regional drinking water supplies around North America, allowing investigators to determine where she may have been raised.[17][18] Early results on the dental 18O/16O isotopic oxygen ratio indicated that she may have spent her early years in the south/southwest region of the United States.[17]

in 1984, Lucas confessed to the murder of an unidentified girl, known as the Caledonia Jane Doe who was murdered in 1979. Investigators found no sufficient evidence to support the confession.[19]

The case has received national attention, appearing on such television shows as America's Most Wanted.[9] As of 2014, Cali Doe remains unidentified.[3][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Various sources state that Caledonia Jane Doe was wearing brown rippled-sole shoes, which a telephone caller who spoke with investigators claimed were popular in the "Venjiont" area in the 1970s. "Venjiont" is not an identifiable town, settlement, or geographical region. The actual word may have been "Vermont," misspelled due to optical character recognition (OCR) failure. It may also have been some other regional term recorded in phonetic spelling by investigators who were unfamiliar with the place named by the caller.


  1. ^ "Jane Teenager Dansville, NY Doe". Find a Grave. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Postmortem photo at link. "Press release". Livingston County, New York: Livingston County Sheriff's Office. November 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Postmortem photo at link. "NamUs UP # 6583". Unidentified Persons Database. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Postmortem photo at link. "Unidentified: Town of Caledonia, Livingston County, NY". Wanted/Missing: Unidentified Persons. New York State Police. 20 June 1997. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dobbin, Ben (4 October 2006). "Pollen produces new clue in 1979 slaying". USA Today (Rochester, New York). The Associated Press. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Case File 1UFNY". Unidentified Victims. The Doe Network. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Bryant, Vaughn (3 August 2009). "Forensic Palynology: Why It Works". Trace Evidence Symposium 2009. National Forensic Science Technology Center. pp. 34–42. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Bryant, Vaughn M.; Jones, Gretchen D. (28 February 2006). "Forensic palynology: Current status of a rarely used technique in the United States of America". Forensic Science International (Elsevier Ireland) 163: 183–197. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.11.021. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Poole, Andrew (10 November 2011). "Livingston County Sheriff's Office trying to solve 32-year-old Caledonia murder". The Evening Tribune (Hornell, New York). Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Gruba, Mark (1 May 2012). "Jane Doe cold case gets new life". WROC-TV (Rochester, New York). Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d Postmortem photo at link. "Unidentified Homicide Victim (Caledonia)". Livingston County, New York: Livingston County Sheriff's Office. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Case NCMU1102079: JANE DOE1979". Unidentified Children. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Murdered Girl's Identity a Mystery". The Palladium-Times (Oswego, New York). Associated Press. 19 January 1980. p. 12. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Bryant, Vaughn M. (2009). "Palynology". In Jamieson, Allan; Moenssens, Andre. Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. Portsmouth, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1954–1968. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Masterson, J. (4 October 2007). "Casuarina equisetifolia". Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Postmortem photo at link. Contreras, Russell (1 May 2012). "‘Southwest pollen’ linked to Livingston County cold case". The Daily News (Batavia, New York). The Associated Press. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c "Authorities use technology to solve Jane Doe murder, more tips sought". Lake & Valley Clarion (Geneseo, New York). 16 November 2006. p. 2. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  18. ^ Voorhees, Seth (23 August 2006). "Unsolved Case Gets New Help". R News (Rochester, New York). Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference dpe-1UFNY was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]