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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South Florida

    AZ - Lake Mead, WhtFem UP14644, 30-50, pregnant, shallow grave, Oct'81

    This woman was added to NamUs just a month ago.


    Age: 30 to 50 years old
    Race: Caucasian
    Sex: Female
    Weight: N/A
    Height: 62 inches (5í2)
    Postmortem Interval: 1 month
    Body conditions: Partial remains with soft tissues (one or more limbs not recovered)

    Date: October 10, 1981
    Location: 1 mile north of Fish Finderís Bay, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mojave County, AZ
    On ___, the badly decomposed remains of a white woman were found buried in a shallow grave in a cove in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, in an area about one mile north of Fish Finderís Bay. It is believed her body was transported there via boat, as the area is only accessible using one. She was approximately four months pregnant with a female fetus.

    Hair: Brown, about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in length

    Dark blue or black polyester slacks. Beige knit tube top.
    Accessories: Yellow metal necklace 1x1 1/2 inch crucifix. Yellow metal ring missing the stone.

    Dentals: Available and entered
    DNA: Available and entered
    Fingerprints: Available outside NamUs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South Florida
    First, does Fish Finder’s Bay even exist? I’ve looked it up and literally the only mention of this location on the internet is in the NamUs profile for this UID. The only similar search result is a company that acts as a fishing guide.

    I do have one possible match:

    Janice Potts - Missing 28 Aug 1981 from Arkansas

    Age (40) is within range
    Race (Caucasian) matches
    Timing (date LKA is roughly two weeks from when the UID died in early September)
    She was four months pregnant at the time

    There is a 5-inch height discrepancy, the hair color is off, and Arkansas is very far from Arizona. But I’m adding her as a PM because of the timing and the fact that she was four months pregnant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Some creative googling leads me to believe the correct location name is "Fishfinder Cove."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South Florida
    Awesome! I think you're right.

    If you look on Google Earth, you can see the spot where she was found is very close to the border between Arizona and Nevada. The Lake Mead Recreational Area expands into both states. The nearest address I can find for this cove is Bonelli Landing, which is only 70 miles from Las Vegas.
    Because of this, I think this woman probably came from either Arizona or Nevada.

    Sherry Yates from Las Vegas looks like a decent PM.
    1. Age (30) is within range
    2. Race matches
    3. Height (5'4) is within 2 inches
    4. Hair color (red/auburn) isn't an exact match, but some shades of brown can look very much like auburn or vice versa, so it's not really a big discrepancy
    5. She was last seen wearing a gold chain and a gold wedding band
    6. Her car was found east of Las Vegas, which is in the same direction as the cove
    7. Distance (roughly 70 miles between Las Vegas and the cove) is reasonable

    Something that may or may not be connected: Sherry had a tattoo of a star on her right hand. One of the Jane Doe's hands was missing from her body and never recovered. It doesn't say if the hand was actually removed from the body or was detached through other means (scavenging, storms, etc.). When I saw the thing about the missing hand, I thought that maybe her killer had removed the hand with the tattoo to prevent identification. Just something I noticed.

    The two inconsistencies are 1) there's no indication she was pregnant, and 2) she disappeared ~7 months prior to the UID being found, when the postmortem interval is listed on NamUs as being 1 month.
    I don't have a big issue with the pregnancy part, because 4 months is still early enough that a woman may not even know she's carrying a baby. Or, the reporting party didn't know she was pregnant.
    I have a bigger problem with the timing. I'd love to find out if the 1 month interval given on NamUs is accurate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South Florida
    I just called Meredith Archer (the NamUs contact for the UID) and it seems like we're on the right track regarding Sherry Yates. They already knew about the potential match and are looking for her maternal uncle and/or her son to get a DNA sample.

    They have dental records for both women, but because of postmortem tooth loss, they can't compare them with confidence. Sherry did have some dental fillings.

    I asked how accurate the postmortem interval was and she said the remains were "fairly fresh", so it seems like the UID wasn't there too long. She couldn't say how accurate it is because they used different methods in 1981 and she's not the one who created the NamUs profile.

    There is a second woman they are comparing the remains to, but Meredith didn't say the name. I asked if it was Janice Potts (who I mentioned in post #2) but the name didn't ring a bell.

    Fingers crossed that this UID gets her name back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Sherry Yates was ruled out.

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