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 gone undiscovered.

Harris County John Doe (1973)[edit]

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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][3] 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.[4]

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.[5] DNA testing conducted in 2008 did not match any missing person report.[6]

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), indicated that he was most likely murdered 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.[7]

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 has been named as a potential suspect in this case,[8] although a bite mark found upon the decedent's shoulder was inconsistent with Lucas's dentistry.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Parker County John Doe[edit]

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NCMEC reconstruction
3D reconstruction

On October 27, 1985, the skeleton of a male between 14 and 21 was found in Springtown, Parker County, Texas.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] He also wore jockey underwear and jeans. His exact cause of death is unknown, although his death is considered to be a homicide.[16]

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 5 feet, 11 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.[17]

Live Oak Doe[edit]

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Sketch reconstruction

A black subject, 20 to 30 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, 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.[18][19]

Collin County John Doe[edit]

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Digital reconstruction
Belt buckle

A Hispanic male between 15 and 25 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.[20][21]

"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.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] A piece of paper was found at the scene that was written by hand containing some sort of schedule.[26] 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.[27]

Kendall County Jane Doe[edit]

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A female between 17 and 26 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.[28][29]

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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33] Since her discovery, a three-dimensional reconstruction and a sketch have been created of the victim.[31][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christian, Carol (July 25, 2013). "40 years after Houston serial killings, one victim still unidentified". Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "John Doe 1973". Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Olsen, Jack (1974). The Man with the Candy: The Story of the Houston Mass Murders. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-1283-0.
  4. ^ Olsen, Lise (May 30, 2011). "'Detective' will exhume bodies in victim identity hunt". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Case File 1010UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "NamUs UP # 4547". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. October 15, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Case File: 33UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Walker Texas Jane Doe November 1980". 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Case File: 91UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "Case File 476UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "Case File 32UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "Unidentified Person's Details". Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse Online Bulletin. Texas Department of Public Safety. August 2, 2005. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Arnette, Mark. "Unidentified Remains". Parker County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved November 28, 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  14. ^ "NamUs UP # 4485". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. October 15, 2008. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  15. ^ "John Doe 1985". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  16. ^ "Case File: 299UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Case File 76UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Unidentified Decedent Flier" (PDF). Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. May 20, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Case File 77UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Case File 54UMTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "John Doe 1988". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  22. ^ "74UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Jane Houston". National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  24. ^ "NamUs UP # 2171". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. July 1, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  25. ^ "Case File 96UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  26. ^ Sanchez, Luke M. (April 15, 2011). "Unidentified Decedent Notice" (PDF). Harris County Police Depaqrtment. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  27. ^ George, Cindy (July 15, 2017). "An unsolved murder from the 1980s stirs Houston cold case investigators". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  28. ^ "1341UFTX". The Doe Network. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  29. ^ "Kendall County Jane Doe Discovered On March 6, 2010". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  30. ^ "Woman's body found buried on South Padre Island". Action News 4. Valley Central. October 10, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  31. ^ a b Gerber, Tim (November 20, 2015). "FBI hopes 3D facial reconstruction will help ID slain woman". KSAT News 12. ABC. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  32. ^ "NamUs UP # 10708". National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. October 24, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  33. ^ "South Padre Island Jane Doe". Hellbeasts. March 9, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  34. ^ Johnson, Ty (June 14, 2014). "Authorities still searching for ID on woman found dead on Islan". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved July 20, 2015.

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