Arroyo Grande Jane Doe
Arroyo Grande Jane Doe
2015 reconstruction created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
|Status||Unidentified for 38 years, 6 months and 15 days|
|Died||October 4, 1980 |
|Cause of death||Homicide by stabbing|
|Body discovered||October 5, 1980 |
|Resting place||Clark County, Nevada, United States|
|Known for||Unidentified victim of homicide|
|Height||5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)|
|Weight||98–110 lb (44–50 kg)|
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.
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) 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. She had been beaten in the face (probably with fists), and one of her lower teeth had been knocked out in the attack.
Her body was found just south of State Route 146, near the Arroyo Grande wash, where the I-215 Beltway is currently. She had been placed in a position described as "posed, basically" and was face-down. The body was discovered by two brothers who were driving on a dirt road, one of whom was an off-duty police officer. 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. The body appeared to have been washed, and a piece of yellow or orange shower curtain was nearby.
Her hair was a natural brownish blonde, red, or strawberry blond color and was shoulder-length (about 11 inches long). She was around five feet two inches tall and weighed between 98 and 110 pounds. 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. The victim had dental fillings in some of her teeth, showing that she had seen a dentist. Her eyes were a hazel or blue color (some sources say green) and she had a small (about 1⁄2″×1⁄4″), crude, apparently amateur tattoo of an "S" on the inside of her right forearm, made with blue ink. The tattoo appeared to have been "inked" not long before she died. She had a vaccination scar on her left bicep. It was determined that she had probably died the day before her body was discovered. The victim also had undergone an unusual "suture procedure" to straighten one of her teeth, which led investigators to believe she was not impoverished.
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. 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. 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. 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.
The body has been exhumed at least four times for further investigations – in 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2016. In 2003, her body was exhumed after authorities followed clues to a missing girl from California, who was eventually ruled out by DNA analysis. To date, 20 missing people have been excluded as potential identities for the victim.
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. He said this victim's case was an impetus for the local department to develop a "cold case unit" for its unsolved cases. "She is the case that started it all for us," he said. The officer who found the body described similar feelings about the case.
In June 2015, "Arroyo Grande" Jane Doe's case was officially reopened by investigators. 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. The new image replaced a version that the organization had created.
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