Princess Doe

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Princess Doe
Digital images created from CT scans of skull to depict an estimation of the victim in life
Reconstructions created by the NCMEC as an estimation of Princess Doe in life.
Bornapprox. 1962–1968
StatusUnidentified for 39 years, 10 months and 13 days
Diedc. July 1982 (aged 14–20)
Cause of deathHomicide by beating
Resting placeCedar Ridge Cemetery, Blairstown, New Jersey, United States[1]
Known forUnidentified victim of homicide
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m) - 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) (approximate)

Princess Doe is the name given to an unidentified American homicide victim found in Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey on July 15, 1982.[2][3][4][5] The victim was a young white female between the ages of 15 and 20, although she has also been stated to be as young as 14.[6] Her face had been bludgeoned beyond recognition. The approximate height of the victim was 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm) and her weight was 110 pounds (50 kg).[2] She was the first unidentified decedent to be entered in the National Crime Information Center.[7]

Princess Doe remains unidentified. No arrests have been made in the case, although a married couple have claimed responsibility for the victim's death. As of 2017, the Warren County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the case and still considers it active.[8] The body was buried in the Cedar Ridge Cemetery, not far from where she was discovered, in January 1983.[3] The remains of Princess Doe were exhumed in 1999 so that samples could be collected for DNA testing, which was extracted from her femur in Baltimore, Maryland.[9] The body was reburied in the same grave.[7]

Discovery and examination[edit]

Two of many previous reconstructions of Princess Doe, one depicting her as a brunette, the other depicting her as a blonde. However, investigators believe that the most recent rendering is the most accurate.[5]

On the morning of July 15, 1982, gravedigger George Kise discovered the body of Princess Doe in the rear of Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey. The body was found lying on its back just over a steep bank that leads to a creek below. The victim's face had been beaten beyond recognition with a yet-to-be-determined object. Due to the condition of her body, her eye color could not be discerned.[7]

The body was clad in a red short-sleeved shirt. A peasant-style skirt was found lying on top of the victim's legs. No undergarments were found. Despite this, no conclusive evidence of sexual assault was found, but this was difficult to determine because of the exposure of the body. A golden cross necklace was found tangled in the victim's hair. Two earrings were found in her left ear.[10] Red nail polish was found on the right hand only and she had no known surgical scars, distinct birth marks or tattoos. Scars or marks on the head/face area would not be known due to the condition of the body. The front two teeth were slightly darker than the other teeth. The victim's appendix and tonsils were intact. Forensic anthropologists determined that the victim was not pregnant and had never given birth, and was most likely between the ages of 14 and 18 years old at the time of death. Toxicology did not reveal any traces of drugs but was not entirely conclusive because of the time lapse between the death and discovery of the body. It is believed that the body was discovered after two to three days or possibly weeks of exposure. This was difficult to determine because of the hot and humid weather in the area at the time.[11]

Examination indicated that the girl had attempted to fight back or defend from her attacker, as trauma to her hands and arms was observed.[10]


Diane Genice Dye[edit]

For many years, Princess Doe was thought to be Diane Genice Dye, a missing teenager from San Jose, California, who vanished on July 30, 1979.[12][13] This theory was propagated by several law enforcement officials in the state of New Jersey, who went as far as to hold a press conference identifying Diane Dye as Princess Doe. However, Lt. Eric Kranz, the Princess Doe case's original lead investigator, maintained that Diane Dye was not a viable candidate for Princess Doe's identity.[14] Kranz's feelings were shared by Diane's family and investigators in California, who were particularly incensed by the conduct of New Jersey law enforcement. In 2003, Princess Doe's DNA was compared with a DNA sample from Diane's mother Patricia, and it was conclusively determined that the Princess Doe was not Diane Dye.[8]

Arthur and Donna Kinlaw[edit]

Police sketch of Princess Doe after interviewing Donna Kinlaw

In 1999, evidence came to light that Arthur and Donna Kinlaw were responsible for Princess Doe's murder. Donna was arrested in California for attempting to commit welfare fraud by using the name "Elaina", which was traced to a Long Island native. When the police questioned her, she gave them details about the murder of "Linda" and her testimony put the Kinlaws behind bars; Donna gave details about two murders Arthur had committed, of two other females who remain unidentified today.[7][10] After Arthur was faced with a death sentence, Donna told authorities that Kinlaw had killed another woman, a sex worker, earlier in 1982.[7] She told police that she was with Arthur in the cemetery and witnessed him commit the murder.[5] Another report states that Donna Kinlaw said that in July 1982, her husband brought home a teenage girl, left home and returned without her. He later apparently disposed of his clothing and cleaned his vehicle. Afterward, he threatened his wife, claiming if she did not attend her job, he would "take her life" as he did to the girl he brought home.[7] However, a lack of corroboration meant that Arthur Kinlaw was not charged. Lt. Stephen Speirs, who worked on the case as a member of the Warren County Prosecutor's Office, from which he is now retired, stated that Kinlaw "claimed responsibility for her death. But I have no physical evidence to confirm that, and without the identity of Princess Doe, I have no way of connecting the dots, so to speak, putting her in a place where he could have been or would have been at the same time."[5] Speirs also reported that he doubted the confession because the Kinlaws could not provide a name for Princess Doe, even though they had claimed to have been with her for a period of time. Despite the fact that he questions the credibility of their statements, Speirs does believe the victim was native to Long Island, New York.[7] However, Donna Kinlaw was interviewed by a forensic artist who created a sketch of the girl she claimed to have met, which does resemble the most recent composite.[15] Arthur Kinlaw remains incarcerated for two counts of second-degree murder.[7]

Apart from the Kinlaws, several other suspects have been reconsidered to be involved in the case.[10]

Later developments[edit]

One theory was submitted that Princess Doe may have been a runaway and could have been an individual using false names while employed at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. Six people have recently come forward with suspected identities of Princess Doe.[10] In 2012, a sample of her hair and a tooth were examined through isotope analysis and indicated that the victim was most likely born in the United States. The sample of her hair indicated that she had lived at least seven to ten months in the Midwestern or Northeastern United States. The tooth sample indicated she could possibly be from Arizona.[16] It is also believed that the girl had spent a long period of time in Long Island, New York.[15][17] After seeing images of the girl's clothing in a newspaper, a woman reported to officials that she remembered seeing a girl wearing the same clothing as Princess Doe on July 13, 1982, just two days before her body was found. The woman claimed that she was shopping with her daughter at a store across from the cemetery and observed the victim's unique clothing. The shirt and skirt themselves were traced to a manufacturer in the Midwestern United States, although the brand labels were missing.[7] Three people reported, after viewing photos, that they bought similar clothes at a Long Island store, which is now closed. It is unknown if the store was specifically located in Long Island or possibly in other locations.[16][18] The 2012 composite of the victim also generated new tips, as it resembled several missing girls from the country.[10][18] Her body was re-exhumed in November 2020 using a grant, and she is currently undergoing DNA extraction for genetic genealogy.

Media appearances[edit]

Additional composite of the victim by Carl Koppelman that also illustrates her clothing

MISSING (HBO Documentary)[edit]

After extensive print media coverage in 1982, Lt. Eric Kranz, the original lead investigator from the Blairstown Police Department, was contacted by HBO regarding the Princess Doe case and asked if the channel could chronicle the case in an upcoming documentary entitled MISSING. Kranz agreed and the segment was filmed over the course of several weeks. Kranz was shown following leads as they came in. The documentary was notable for containing actual footage of the recovery of Princess Doe's body along with footage shot by HBO of Princess Doe's 1983 funeral. The documentary also contained a segment following the Johnny Gosch disappearance.[10]

Lt. Kranz, now retired, coined the name "Princess Doe" early in the investigation and also managed to get the case covered extensively in the media.[3] The case was used as the impetus for recording unidentified crime victims in the NCIC database at the national level. Princess Doe became the first such case entered by the FBI director.


The case was featured on America's Most Wanted in 2012 in hopes to generate new information in the case.[7][17]

A book titled The Untold Story of Princess Doe by Christie Leigh Napurano was published in 2012, detailing a hypothetical account of the victim's life, beginning in the year 1980.[19]

The same year, the most recent reconstruction was broadcast on CNN.[20]

Burial and memorials[edit]

Princess Doe was buried on January 22, 1983, after she had remained unidentified for over five months. Donated funds were used to pay for the victim's coffin and headstone.[7]

On July 15, 2012, a memorial service was held for the 30th anniversary of Princess Doe being discovered, at the top of the ravine where her remains were found. Over 100 citizens attended as well as several reporters and cameras. The victim's clothing as well as her reconstructions were displayed for public viewing.[7]

On October 12, 2014, Princess Doe was honored at a missing persons rally in the area.[1]

Other information[edit]

  • NCIC Case Number: U630870962
  • Porchlight for the Missing Case Number: NJF820715 [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bresswein, Kurt (9 October 2014). "'Princess Doe' the focus of missing persons rally in Warren County". The Associated Press. The Express-Times. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Unidentified Deceased (Female)". Warren County Sheriff Department. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Princess Doe. HBO. Blairstown, New Jersey, 1983. Television.
  4. ^ "Case File 36UFNJ". The Doe Network. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Gallucci, Jaclyn (2 August 2012). "Identifying Princess Doe: 30 Years After She Was Slain, New Technology May ID Her and The Killer". Long Island Press. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Jane Doe 1982". National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gallucci, Jacklyn (2 August 2012). "Identifying Princess Doe: 30 Years After She Was Slain, New Technology May ID Her and The Killer". Long Island Press. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Frequent Questions About the Princess Doe Case". June 16, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Tommasino, John (23 September 1999). "Mystery body dug up to conduct DNA tests". Pocono Record. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Princess Doe: New Evidence Arises After 30 Years". Weird NJ. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Princess Doe Case Details". Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  12. ^ "'Princess Doe' Identified as California Runaway [note: article's title was not accurate]". Boca Raton News. 1 February 1985. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  13. ^ Good, Meaghan. "Diane Genice Dye". The Charley Project. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  14. ^ Moylan, Tom (31 January 1985). "Is 'Princess Doe' Really Diane Dye? Body Discovered In N.j. May Be Calif. Runaway". The Morning Call. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  15. ^ a b Gallucci, Jacklyn (24 September 2012). "Arizona, Spent Time in Long Island Area". Long Island Press. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  16. ^ a b Randi, Kaye (23 September 2012). "Identifying 'Princess Doe'". CNN. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  17. ^ a b Gillis, Timothy (27 September 2012). "Princess Doe murder case revived with fresh leads". The Portland Sun. Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  18. ^ a b Brenzel, Kathryn (26 September 2012). "Tests reveal new details about Princess Doe before she was murdered". The Express Times. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  19. ^ Napurano, Christie Leigh (15 March 2012). The Untold Story of Princess Doe. ISBN 978-0965658966.
  20. ^ "New image could help solve 30-year-old cold case". CNN News. 15 June 2012.

External links[edit]