List of unidentified murder victims in Texas

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The Walker County Jane Doe's case is one of Texas' most-known unidentified person cases

In Texas, there are a number of murder victims, in the category of unidentified decedents, whose identities have yet to be found. In most of these cases, their murderer or murderers have also gone undiscovered.

Harris County John Doe (1973)[edit]

External images
Reconstructions and clothing

A white or Hispanic male between 15 and 18 years old was found buried in a Harris County boat shed in August 1973.

This youth is the only still-unidentified victim of serial killer Dean Corll, who, together with two teenage accomplices, killed at least 28 boys and young men between 1970 and 1973.[1][2] This decedent was between 5 feet 2 and 5 feet 7 inches tall, had brown hair, and is believed to have worn striped swim trunks, boots, and a shirt displaying a peace symbol. These items were found near his body.[3]

He had received good dental care, and had never received any teeth fillings in his lifetime. It is known that he suffered from a mild form of spina bifida.[4] DNA testing conducted in 2008 did not match any missing person report.[5]

A forensic examination of the boy's remains, in addition to the circumstantial fact that he was buried between two identified victims of Dean Corll (killed in August 1971 and July 1972), showed that he was killed in either 1971 or 1972.

"Orange Socks"[edit]

A 15- to 30-year-old woman discovered in Georgetown, Texas, on Halloween of 1979. Her body was naked save for a pair of orange socks. She had been killed by strangulation, and had contracted salpingitis in her lifetime.[6]

Walker County Jane Doe[edit]

A teenage female whose body was discovered approximately six hours after she died on October 31 or November 1, 1980. Henry Lee Lucas may have murdered her.[7]

She was estimated to be between the ages of 14 and 18 years old with brown hair and brown or hazel eyes. She had claimed to a waitress that she was 19 but the waitress did not believe her. She was described as wearing a yellow pullover sweater and red heeled sandals. She was also wearing a square or rectangular pendent necklace with a smokey blue or brown stone. The necklace was found on the body and the shoes were nearby but none of her clothing was located.

When her body was found it was determined she had only been dead for several hours. She had been viciously sexually assaulted with a large foreign object. A truck driver had seen her body on the north bound side of highway 45 about a mile north of The Hitchin Post truck stop.

The waitress who spoke to her claimed the girl told her she was from the Aransas Pass/Rockport area but no missing persons were reported in that area around the time of her death.

Harris County Does (1981)[edit]

A young man and woman who were found in January 1981. They were killed approximately two months earlier and left in Houston.[8]

Harris County Jane Doe (1985)[edit]

The Harris County Jane Doe, found in 1985, had a tattoo of the letter "V" on her arm
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On August 12, 1985, the body of a Hispanic female aged between 16 and 35 was found inside a vacant store. Her body was discovered alongside that of a man who was identified as Thomas Rodriguez, and her death had occurred hours prior to her discovery. She was between five feet and five feet two inches, and weighed approximately 120 to 140 pounds. Other distinctive details regarding this decedent include two sets of distinctive earrings she had worn which contained beads and shells, a tattoo of the letter 'V' on her upper left arm, and a scar resulting from her gallbladder being removed. A necklace with an arrowhead and turquoise stone design was also found on the girl's neck. It is unknown how both victims were placed at the scene.[9]

Parker County John Doe[edit]

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NCMEC reconstruction
3D reconstruction

On October 27, 1985, the skeleton of a male between fourteen and twenty-one was found in Springtown, Parker County, Texas.[10] The victim's remains were found on a ranch along State Highway 51. He could have died as early as 1984, as a coin with that date was found at the site.[11] The boy was a white male but may have had black ancestry. Because only some bones were located, his height and weight could not be estimated. His torso, along with one or both hands and limbs, was not recovered.[12] The victim had received dental care, as fillings were found in his teeth. He had short brown hair and wore two gray jackets, one made of fleece and the other of cotton.[13] He also wore jockey underwear and jeans. His exact cause of death is unknown, although his death is considered to be a homicide.[14]

Bexar County Jane Doe[edit]

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3D reconstruction of 1986 victim

On March 26, 1986, a black woman was shot multiple times and left near a railroad. She was between 18 and 25, standing five feet eleven inches tall. The body had gone undiscovered for approximately three weeks to three months. The motive for the murder was apparently an argument. Ángel Maturino Reséndiz, a serial killer, confessed to her murder, claiming he had also killed the woman's boyfriend, whose remains are yet to be found. The woman wore a white gold ring, a striped blue short skirt, and a flannel jacket, which was also striped. She was believed to have been native to Florida, her first name reported to possibly be Norma. The woman, along with her boyfriend and another victim, has never been identified. Reséndiz apparently killed seventeen others.[15]

Live Oak Doe[edit]

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Sketch reconstruction

A black subject, twenty to thirty years old, who was likely a trans woman or a drag queen, was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital when found unresponsive on July 10, 1986, in Live Oak, Houston, Harris County, Texas. The cause of death was strangulation, which may have been done with pantyhose. The subject was dressed in pink pants, a gray shirt, and a black belt with spikes. A pair of socks was under the shirt, likely used to mimic breasts. A heart tattoo containing a scroll was on one arm, and the victim's fingernails had been painted gold at one point. Four earrings were found in each ear; a ring with a clear stone, a ring without a stone, a silver chain, and two gold-colored necklaces were also found. The victim may have had a drug history, as needle marks were visible on the arms.[16][17]

Collin County John Doe[edit]

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Digital reconstruction
Belt buckle

A Hispanic male between fifteen and twenty-five was found stabbed to death on December 15, 1988, in Collin County, Texas. He had died a day before his body was found abandoned in a culvert. He wore a motorcyclist's jacket and a white and gray striped shirt, along with corduroy jeans, loafers, and a belt with a multi-colored buckle. He had a tattoo on his arm of the letters "RYA" inside a heart with an arrow through it, possibly representing a significant other or a family member. He was found wearing a watch, a bracelet, and two rubber rings. He was relatively short for a male, being five feet to five feet one inch tall. In his pockets, chap stick, a package of cigarettes, and a disposable lighter were found.[18][19]

"Corona Girl"[edit]

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On September 25, 1989, the remains of a female aged 18-24 was located in Williamson County, Texas along Interstate 35. She was about 5'2" tall at a weight between 110 and 120 pounds. Her ears were pierced, but only one earring was recovered. The victim also wore a necklace containing a white bead in the center, surrounded by two gold-colored beads on either side. She wore a white shirt with the words "Cinco De Corona" with the bottom cut into fringe, leading to her nickname, black pants a shirt cut into a bra with the words "American Legends" bearing a Native American design. She wore bikini panties and no shoes. The victim was shot to death.[20]

Harris County Jane Doe (1989)[edit]

1989 Harris County Jane Doe
External images
NCMEC reconstruction
2D reconstruction

Approximately eight to ten hours after her death, a Hispanic female was located on Westheimer Street, in Houston, Harris County, Texas on December 29, 1989.[21] She was five feet four inches and weighed 161 pounds; she was between nineteen and twenty-five, although she could have been up to thirty-five.[22] The victim wore black pants, socks and shoes as well as a white bra, panties, pullover and socks. Her hair was black and curly, approximately twenty inches long. Her eyes were also brown.[23] A piece of paper was found at the scene that was written by hand containing some sort of schedule.[24] The woman had been shot at close range in the head. After her body remained unidentified, she was buried in an unmarked grave in a potter's field.[25]

"Lavender Doe"[edit]

A young adult who was found burning in Kilgore, Texas on October 29, 2006. Her nickname originated from the purple sweater that she wore.[26]

Kendall County Jane Doe[edit]

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A female between seventeen and twenty-six was discovered in Kendall County, Texas, on March 6, 2010. The victim's race was either Hispanic or Caucasian, possibly being a mix of both. Examination revealed that she had had a large amount of dental work as well as a previous open heart surgery. Deformities were also present on the feet. She had died between one year and a decade prior to the discovery.[27][28]

South Padre Island Jane Doe[edit]

Reconstruction of the South Padre Island Jane Doe

The decomposed remains of a Hispanic woman were found on a beach, scavenged by coyotes, on October 10, 2012, in South Padre Island, Cameron County, Texas. The victim's body was likely exposed due to changes with water levels on the beach. The woman had been dead from one to several weeks before her remains were discovered.[29] The sand above the body had been "covered with lime," possibly to speed decomposition or plant growth, likely as a way to prevent the body from being found or identified. Her height was estimated to be four feet ten to five feet two inches tall and her weight at about 95 to 120 pounds. She was middle-aged, approximately forty-two to fifty-five, at the time of death.[30] One or more of the female's limbs were not found with the body, as they were likely carried away by animals. A distinctive feature about this female was that she had her make-up permanently tattooed on her eyebrows, eyelids and lips. Her ears had also been pierced.[31] She was clothed, wearing a dark top, multicolored shorts with star decorations and bikini underwear, along with a sanitary pad. The woman's death is considered to be due to foul play and a "suspicious" white-colored "powder" was found on the face region.[32] Since her discovery, a three-dimensional reconstruction and a sketch have been created of the victim.[30][33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christian, Carol (25 July 2013). "40 years after Houston serial killings, one victim still unidentified". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  2. ^ "John Doe 1973". Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  3. ^ Olsen, Lise (30 May 2011). "'Detective' will exhume bodies in victim identity hunt". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Case File 1010UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ "NamUs UP # 4547". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Case File: 33UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Case File: 91UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Case File 476UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Case File 32UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Unidentified Person's Details". Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse Online Bulletin. Texas Department of Public Safety. 2 August 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  11. ^ Arnette, Mark. "Unidentified Remains". Parker County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved 28 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ "NamUs UP # 4485". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  13. ^ "John Doe 1985". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Case File: 299UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Case File 76UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Unidentified Decedent Flier" (PDF). Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Case File 77UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Case File 54UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  19. ^ "John Doe 1988". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  20. ^ "74UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Jane Houston". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  22. ^ "NamUs UP # 2171". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  23. ^ "Case File 96UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  24. ^ Sanchez, Luke M. (15 April 2011). "Unidentified Decedent Notice" (PDF). Harris County Police Depaqrtment. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  25. ^ George, Cindy (15 July 2017). "An unsolved murder from the 1980s stirs Houston cold case investigators". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Who is Lavender Doe?". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  27. ^ "1341UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Kendall County Jane Doe Discovered On March 6, 2010". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Woman's body found buried on South Padre Island". Action News 4. Valley Central. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  30. ^ a b Gerber, Tim (20 November 2015). "FBI hopes 3D facial reconstruction will help ID slain woman". KSAT News 12. ABC. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  31. ^ "NamUs UP # 10708". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  32. ^ "South Padre Island Jane Doe". Hellbeasts. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  33. ^ Johnson, Ty (14 June 2014). "Authorities still searching for ID on woman found dead on Islan". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 20 July 2015.

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