Arroyo Grande Jane Doe

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Arroyo Grande Jane Doe
Digital image created from study of morgue photographs to depict an estimation of the victim in life
2015 reconstruction created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Born1955–1966 (approximate)
StatusUnidentified for 38 years, 6 months and 15 days
DiedOctober 4, 1980
(age 14–25)
Cause of deathHomicide by stabbing
Body discoveredOctober 5, 1980
Henderson, Nevada
Resting placeClark County, Nevada, United States
Known forUnidentified victim of homicide
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight98–110 lb (44–50 kg)[1]

Arroyo Grande Jane Doe, also known as Jane Arroyo Grande Doe, is the name given to an unidentified American murder victim, discovered on October 5, 1980 (38 years ago), in Henderson, Nevada. Her identity has never been successfully established. Her case has been the subject of extensive efforts by investigators and has been highlighted as inspiring other work to solve cold cases of unidentified murder victims.[2]


At approximately 9:20 p.m. on October 5, 1980, the nude body of a white adolescent or young woman between 13 and 25 years old (most likely 17–18 years old[2]) was found with blunt force trauma including multiple wounds to the back of the head (believed to be from a roofing hammer or framing hammer), signs of injury to the face, and seven puncture-type stab wounds on the upper left area of her back.[1][3] She had been beaten in the face (probably with fists), and one of her lower teeth had been knocked out in the attack.[1][4][5]

Her body was found just south of State Route 146, near the Arroyo Grande wash, where the I-215 Beltway is currently.[2][6][7][8][9][10][11][4][5] She had been placed in a position described as "posed, basically" and was face-down.[2] The body was discovered by two brothers who were driving on a dirt road, one of whom was an off-duty police officer.[12][13] The cause of death was identified as an unknown two-pronged instrument with prongs around three inches long that was used to stab the victim.[1][2] The body appeared to have been washed, and a piece of yellow or orange shower curtain was nearby.[3]

Her hair was a natural brownish blonde, red, or strawberry blond color and was shoulder-length (about 11 inches long).[7] She was around five feet two inches tall and weighed between 98 and 110 pounds.[1] She still had her wisdom teeth (which were impacted) and had a visible gap between two of her upper-right teeth. She had pierced ears and her nails were painted silver.[1] The victim had dental fillings in some of her teeth, showing that she had seen a dentist.[1] Her eyes were a hazel or blue color (some sources say green) and she had a small (about ​12″×​14″), crude, apparently amateur tattoo of an "S" on the inside of her right forearm, made with blue ink.[1][10][14][15] The tattoo appeared to have been "inked" not long before she died.[3] She had a vaccination scar on her left bicep.[1] It was determined that she had probably died the day before her body was discovered.[1][15] The victim also had undergone an unusual "suture procedure" to straighten one of her teeth, which led investigators to believe she was not impoverished.[1][3]

The police officer who discovered her body donated money for burial of the body, regularly visits the burial site with his wife, and leaves flowers in her memory.[4][5]


Additional rendering of the victim

Investigators made extensive efforts to try to identify the body of the young woman. The victim's fingerprints were taken and her dental characteristics were recorded, but could not be matched to anyone.[7] Eventually, the victim's DNA profile was developed by the University of North Texas and was entered into national databases, which failed to turn up her identity.[1] Several television shows broadcast information about the case in the hope of generating leads, none of which led to her identification or the apprehension of her killer or killers.[16] Forensic facial reconstructions were created to provide a likeness of the Jane Doe, which were hoped to enable recognition by those that may have known her.[1]

The body has been exhumed at least four times for further investigations – in 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2016.[11][4][5][1] In 2003, her body was exhumed after authorities followed clues to a missing girl from California, who was eventually ruled out by DNA analysis.[17][13] To date, 20 missing people have been excluded as potential identities for the victim.[7]

The former coroner for Clark County when the victim's body was found has worked with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to help with the case. In a video released in October 2015, he said "someone is missing their little girl – someone knows who she is – someone needs to come forward and help us", saying that he hoped the reconstructions created of the victim would trigger recognition.[14] He said this victim's case was an impetus for the local department to develop a "cold case unit" for its unsolved cases.[2] "She is the case that started it all for us," he said.[17] The officer who found the body described similar feelings about the case.[4][5]

In June 2015, "Arroyo Grande" Jane Doe's case was officially reopened by investigators.[4][5] On October 5, 2015, the 35th anniversary of her discovery, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released two new reconstructions, one frontal view of the face and the other as the profile.[6] The new image replaced a version that the organization had created.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Case File: 258UFNV". The Doe Network. 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gonzolez, Vicki (August 16, 2015). "Jane 'Arroyo Grande' Doe". NBC 3 News. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Lundeberg, Cyndi (November 14, 2016). "Jane Arroyo Grande Doe's identity key in solving her killing". Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gonzalez, Vicki (May 13, 2015). "Jane 'Arroyo Grande' Doe cold case open 35 years later [text]". NBC 3 News. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gonzalez, Vicki (May 13, 2015). "Jane 'Arroyo Grande' Doe cold case open 35 years later [video]". NBC 3 News. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Bleakley, Caroline (October 5, 2015). "Police release image of Jane Doe found in 1980". Las Vegas Now. CBS. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "NamUs Unidentified Person #46". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "Clark County Case Number: #80-1221". Clark County Police Department. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  9. ^ Matt, Guillermo (October 5, 2015). "Henderson slaying victim still unidentified 35 years later". Fox 5 Vegas. Fox. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Henderson Police Still Trying To ID Body". CBS Las Vegas. CBS. October 5, 2015. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Goldblatt, Rochel Leah (November 28, 2013). "Resolving cold cases important to Clark County coroner". Las Vegas Review-Journal. GateHouse Media. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  12. ^ Friess, Steve (January 25, 2004). "To identify 'John Doe' victims, investigators turn to the Web". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Friess, Steve (January 2, 2004). "Nevada coroner puts photos of deceased on Internet / Visitors urged to try to help identify Jane and John Does". Houston Chronicle. p. 1. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c "Did You Know Me?". YouTube. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. October 5, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Jane Doe 1980". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  16. ^ Torres, Ricardo (October 5, 2015). "Henderson police release drawing from 35-year-old Jane Doe case". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Heinecke, Jeanne (August 15, 2007). "Identifying the unknown". Retrieved August 10, 2014.

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