List of unidentified murder victims in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, 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.
Boy in the Box
A young boy found in 1957. He died from severe blunt force trauma visible across his body.
A young, pregnant woman who was found murdered and dismembered in 1976.
Jefferson County John Doe (1986)
The skeleton of a man aged twenty-five to forty was discovered on July 25, 1986, in Washington Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, near a strip mine. He was determined to be white, although he may have had Asian heritage. His skull was found several feet away from the rest of the body and had wire around the neck area, which indicated he was strangled. The right hand was never recovered and the fingers on the left were also missing. It appeared that the killer or killers had attempted to prevent his identification by doing this as well as burning the man's clothing on top of the head. He had light brown hair and was estimated to be around five feet eight inches tall at around 170 to 180 pounds at the time of death.
Perry County Jane Doe
A female whose body was found in 1979. The cause of this person's death is unknown, but is ruled as suspicious.
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A female's body found in Monroe, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, on July 22, 1990, the death blow being blunt-force trauma to the head. Additionally, the right leg was broken. She was between fifteen and twenty-two (although some sources report her being as old as forty). She had very healthy teeth and had long brown hair and had one baby tooth still in place on the top set of teeth. The victim wore no bra, shoes or socks, which may have been taken by the killer. In each pocket of the woman's jeans was a single penny, which led to her nickname. The other clothing worn was a vest over a black shirt reading "Stop Light of California". She was not believed to have come from the area where she was discovered.
Luzerne County Jane Doe
A female skeleton was found at the edge of a strip mine on December 20, 1994, near Sugarloaf, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The remains had been left on the surface of the ground, and were estimated to have been at the location for up to two years. Despite the cause of death not being apparent upon examination, the case is being investigated as a homicide. The woman was between 34 and 47 years old at the time of death, and between at 5 feet 1 to 5 feet 4 inches in height. With the body, a yellow shirt, reading "kiss my ass, I'm on vacation," women's underwear, sweatpants and boy's shoes were found. She had borne at least one child, and likely suffered from back pain and may have walked with a limp when alive. She also had a significant number of missing teeth, and a fragment of metal unrelated to dental work was found in her jaw.
Chester County Jane Doe
On July 11, 1995 the dismembered remains of a female aged seventeen to forty were found in East Caln Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The torso was discovered first, wrapped in bedding and wax and placed into a reddish-colored suitcase, later traced to Kmart. Wire and tape were used to fasten the suitcase, which was disposed of near a river inside of a garbage bag. The young woman had been subjected to some violence, as she had bruises on her body. She had also consumed alcohol although not enough to intoxicate her. Her age was estimated to be between seventeen and twenty-five, although other reports state she was between eighteen and forty. The female was deceased for several days, up to one week, prior to the discovery. She may have been Hispanic with a light complexion, but otherwise appeared to be white. The victim had brown hair and eyes, was approximately four feet eleven to five feet three inches and weighed between 120 and 140 pounds. Her legs were not found until January 29 of the following year in Cores Creek State Park, which had been disposed of in trash bags. The legs were not genetically tested to match the body but did, however, fit into the other parts of the remains. Other bags were found at the scene containing various amounts of women's clothing. The case was featured on America's Most Wanted in 2001.
Philadelphia County John Doe (1995)
On October 28, 1995, the body of an African-American male aged sixteen to nineteen was found in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He had been shot twice in the head, and had been dead for approximately three days prior to being found. His black hair was styled in cornrows and there was a scar on his right arm. He had brown eyes; he was five feet eleven inches tall and weighed 163 pounds. He wore a red tee shirt, a gray hooded pullover Sergio Tacchin jacket, boxer shorts, a black belt decorated with medallions and black high-top Reebok shoes. Both his tee shirt and underwear were made by the Fruit of the Loom company. His teeth were well cared for, although no signs of any dental treatment were found.
Somerset County John Doe
The body of a thirty- to fifty-year-old man was found on November 3, 1995 (although he likely died in 1994) in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, close to the border of Maryland. He had been shot twice in the head, likely around a year before the remains were found. He had possibly been fairly well-to-do, as the body was dressed in a pair of "Genuine Country Road" brand pants that cost around $200 when new, and he had an expensive partial dental plate replacing missing teeth. He was approximately 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 10 inches in height and weighed between 150 and 170 pounds. Despite multiple facial reconstructions, identification has thus far been unsuccessful.
In Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the body of a newborn girl was found concealed with a plastic bag in a burn barrel on the afternoon of December 31, 2003. The baby had been born alive and then had her throat cut and her umbilical cord was not removed from her body. She was determined to be white and to not have been of incestuous ancestry. There was also a slim possibility that she was from the Amish settlement she was located in, as genetic testing indicated. It is presumed that the baby's mother was under twenty years old and may have been native to the area, although it is possible that she was not. A local gas station may have contained evidence from the child's birth, although it is not certain if it is related to the case.
Indiana County Jane Doe
A black female with Hispanic characteristics was discovered in a wooded area on December 29, 2008, in Rochester Mills, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. She had been murdered years before, possibly between 1993 and 2003. She had been shot in the back of her head and was later dismembered with a saw, as evidence on the bones suggested. The victim was found with a pair of possibly gray shorts that had elastic in their waistline. The woman was estimated to be between thirty and forty years old at the time of death and was between four feet nine inches and five feet nine inches tall. Because of the state of her body, the weight was not possible to determine or estimate. The Jane Doe had a partial denture on the top set of her teeth and her hands and feet were not recovered.
- "The Boy in the Box Mystery". americasunknownchild.net. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- "Jane Doe 1976". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "NamUs UP # 6574". identifyus.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Case File 176UMPA". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- "Case File 11UFPA". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- "Case File 246UFPA". The Doe Network. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "Penny Doe". Pennsylvania Missing Persons and Unidentified Victims. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "NamUs UP# 6580". NamUS.org. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "Clarion County Jane Doe". March 23, 2013. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "Case File 127UFPA". The Doe Network. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "Luzerne Pennsylvania Jane Doe December 1994". canyouidentifyme.org. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "NamUs UP 13616". identifyus.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. March 4, 2015. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- Bishop, Alex (May 17, 2013). "Unsolved Murder Spotlight: The East Caln Township Jane Doe". crimelibrary.com. Crime Library. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "Case File 147UFPA". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. November 13, 2011. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Hawkes, Jeff (July 20, 2015). "Police seek help in solving 1995 case of dismembered woman found in Chester County creek". Lancaster Online. Archived from the original on December 15, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Case File 1008UMPA". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "John Doe 1995". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "NamUs UP # 7295". identifyus.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. June 19, 2010. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "Case File 170UMPA". The Doe Network. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Barton, Greg (December 31, 2013). "Solving Baby Allison's Murder". WDAC. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Smart, Gill (December 30, 2013). "Killing of Baby Allison". Lancaster Online. Archived from the original on September 4, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Baby Allison". pennsylvaniamissing.com. Pennsylvania State Troopers. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "NamUs UP # 5063". identifyus.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. April 14, 2009. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "Case File 768UFPA". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
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