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  1. #1
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    MO - St Louis, BlkFem Child 54UFMO, 8-11, in abandoned bldg, Feb'83

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/54ufmo.html

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6865/jd.html

    On the morning of February 28, 1983, two men were rummaging through the basement of an abandoned apartment building at 5635 Clemens Avenue in St. Louis. They made a gruesome discovery, the body of a young black girl, between 8-11 years old. Her hands had been tied behind her and she was sexually assaulted and then strangled. After death, she was decapitated with a long, heavy knife. Her head was never discovered, and she remains unidentified to this day.

    This case has always disturbed me. You'd think, someone that young, someone somewhere would be missing them, or know who they are.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-04-2013 at 09:29 PM. Reason: update doenet link

  2. #2
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    I read this case on DOE a couple of weeks ago, how disturbing it is.

    I think the one thing that bothers me most about all of the unidentified cases is that someone has to know who these people are. How do people never get identified? Mind boggling.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy Unid'ed Black Female, Child, 1983, Missouri, Strangulation, decapitation after death

    It's been 23 years since this child was murdered.

    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/54ufmo.html

    Unidentified Black Female Child Located on February 28, 1983 in St. Louis, Missouri
    <LI>Cause of death was homicide; the victim was strangled.



    Vital Statistics

    • Estimated age: 8 - 11 years old (DOB circa 1972-75).
    • Approximate Height and Weight: 4'10"; 70 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: She was well-nourished. She had no scars, deformities or irregularities. Medium complexion.
    • Clothing: She was wearing a yellow v-necked sweater and 2 coats of red fingernail polish.
    • Other: DNA available

    Case History
    The victim was located in a vacant apartment building on Clemens Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri on February 28, 1983. Two men who were in the basement of the building discovered the young girl. She was lying face-down in the furnace room with her hands tied behind her back with red and white nylon rope. The victim had been sexually assaulted prior to being strangled, which was the cause of her death.
    The victim's head had been removed with a large-bladed knife after her death. Her head has never been discovered. She had been killed elsewhere and brought to the vacant building after her death.
    There were no signs of previous abuse on the victim's body. There was no specific features that would give clues as to her identity.
    The St. Louis authorities have conducted extensive investigations into the victim's identity since 1983 and have received no clear leads. Her murderer(s) remain unknown, although several suspects have been under investigation. No arrests have been made in the case.
    The FBI agency that documents and studies unsolved murders reported this is the only decapitation in the country involving someone so young (1993). Authorities believe she was probably from out of state as they checked school records around Missouri very thoroughly. They conducted a nationwide search, including running ads in every black newspaper and magazine in the country and corresponded with every state police agency.



  4. #4
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    Lightbulb Articles on case

    Link to website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6865/jd.html

    Sunday, March 3, 1991
    Section: NEWS
    </FONT>
    UNSOLVED CHILD KILLING HAUNTS POLICE
    By Bill Bryan Of the Post-Dispatch Staff






    It's been eight years since one of the most baffling cases in the annals of the St. Louis Police Department began, and the mystery remains.

    On that cold, crisp, clear day of Feb. 28, 1983, two men looking for a piece of metal to rig a broken drive train on their car made a grisly discovery. While rummaging through a vacant apartment house at 5635 Clemens Avenue in the Cabanne neighborhood, they found the body of a girl on the boiler room floor.


    The body was clad only in a dirty yellow sweater with the hands bound behind the back with a red and white nylon rope. The head was missing.

    An autopsy disclosed that the girl, who was black, was 8 to 11 years old and had been sexually assaulted. She had been killed elsewhere.

    After eight years and countless hours of detective work, police still don't know the identity of the victim, much less who may have killed her.

    ''I don't suppose I'll ever forget that case,'' said Chief of Detectives Leroy J. Adkins, who was the commander of the homicide squad when the case began.

    ''It still bothers me,'' said Adkins. ''I guess I'm perplexed more than anything else because we've never identified her after all these years.

    ''Here you have a child, 8, 9, 10 years old and there's no relatives, parents, neighbors, schoolmates or friends who have reported her missing. Nobody has come forward to offer any information about her.

    ''What is most distressing is how a child that age can't belong to anybody.''

    Adkins called the investigation ''one of most extensive, thorough, painstaking investigations in the history of the department.''

    Homicide Sgt. Joe Burgoon has been the primary investigator in the case. He points to a file cabinet stuffed with information such as leads, lists, computer printouts of missing children and stacks of school rosters.

    ''We've even got information from psychics in there,'' he said.

    In 1986, Burgoon sent a report to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., which runs a special program that analyzes unsolved killings throughout the country.

    ''The FBI could find nothing to compare to our case anywhere in the United States,'' Burgoon said. ''It's amazing.''

    But Burgoon has not given up hope. ''Right now, I'm looking at an abduction case from Chicago,'' he said. ''A 7 1/2-year-old girl was reported abducted in January 1980, and she's never been found.''

    Another homicide sergeant thinks that a man on death row in Missouri may be the killer of the girl, and the detective plans to question the man soon.

    Dr. Mary Case, the medical examiner for St. Louis County and St. Charles County, remembers the ''Jane Doe'' case well because she was deputy chief medical examiner for St. Louis at the time.

    ''I remember there were more hours spent on that case than any other I can recall,'' she said.

    ''In this part of the country, for a child to be murdered like that and not identified is just so unbelievable.''

    Adkins says, ''There are so many theories. The girl lived a secluded life. Her mother, or parents, were involved in the murder. The possibilities go on and on.

    ''She probably was from out of the state, though,'' he said. ''We checked school records around here very, very thoroughly.

    ''We conducted a nationwide search,'' Adkins said. ''We ran ads in every black newspaper and magazine in the country and corresponded with every state police agency.

    ''Still nothing. It's frustrating.''
    </SPAN>geovisit();

    Friday, June 5, 1992
    Section: NEWS
    </FONT>
    SKULL MAY BE LINKED TO UNSOLVED MURDER
    By Bill Bryan Of the Post-Dispatch Staff






    The recovery of a human skull has authorities optimistic that they may have the first solid clue in one of St. Louis' most baffling unsolved murders - the decapitation of an unknown girl nine years ago.

    ''Obviously, we're very interested in this skull,'' said Dr. Mary Case, the St. Louis County Medical Examiner. Her office has custody of the skull, which was obtained by a Charlack police lieutenant on May 14 from a man he had stopped to question on St. Charles Rock Road, near the Interstate I-170.


    ''The skull is definitely that of a child, but at this time we don't know the sex or race,'' Case said. ''DNA testing will be able to tell us if the skull belongs to the body of the murder victim.''

    If the skull and body are matched, Homicide Sgt. Joe Burgoon said police will ''backtrack the origin of the skull and hopefully get her identified.''

    He said discoveries of human skulls - particularly those of children - are rare and have piqued police curiosity.

    Burgoon has been the primary investigator on the ''Jane Doe'' case for the last several years.

    ''It's too early to get too excited, but I'm encouraged,'' he said. ''It's the best lead we've got thus far.''

    The DNA tests could take several weeks to complete, Case said.

    Meanwhile, authorities plan to have archaeologists examine the skull to determine its age. The owner of the skull says it is 1,100 years old.

    The skull came to light May 14, when Charlack Lt. Tony Umbertino saw a man in a storage rental shed on St. Charles Rock Road and questioned him to see if he belonged there.

    The man was later identified as Danny L. Davis, 33, of Pagedale.

    ''As I was talking to him, I noticed a couple of animal skulls in the shed,'' Umbertino said. ''One was a rat's skull with a German Army helmet on it.

    ''I asked him about the skulls, and he told me he was a 'skull freak' and had a human skull as well,'' Umbertino said. ''He had it right there inside a Tide Bleach box. It was wrapped with electrical tape.''

    Umbertino confiscated the skull and turned it over to Case's office.

    In an interview, Davis said he bought the skull for $35 in 1977 or 1978 at a souvenir-gift shop on Lindbergh Boulevard near Northwest Plaza shopping center. The shop has since gone out of business, he said.

    ''I collect skulls,'' Davis said. ''I have skulls of cows, birds and deer, but this was the only real human one I had.''

    Davis said a tag that came with the skull claimed it to be authentic and 1,100 years old. ''The skull was that of a Navajo Indian woman, 22 years old, from New Mexico,'' Davis said.

    ''She had been killed by a blow from a tomahawk at the base of the skull.''

    Davis said that shortly after buying the skull, he took it to a museum. ''They told me it was a little over 1,000 years old, and they wanted me to donate it to them,'' he said.

    ''But I wasn't about to give it to them. This was my pride and joy. It was the only real one I had. A lot of folks think I'm weird, but I'm fascinated with the way bones are put together,'' Davis said.

    Police plan to question Davis again if the skull is matched to the body.

    The murder victim's body was discovered Feb. 28, 1983, by two men who were rummaging around in the basement of a vacant apartment building at 5635 Clemens Avenue.

    Despite thousands of hours of investigation, police could never identify the body, let alone solve the murder.


    </SPAN>geovisit();

  5. #5
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    More articles

    Link: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6865/jd.html

    Tuesday, March 2, 1993
    Section: NEWS
    </FONT>
    HEADLESS GIRL STILL NAMELESS AFTER 10 YEARS
    By Bill Bryan
    Of the Post-Dispatch Staff







    She was about 11 years old when someone sexually attacked her and then cut off her head in what police say is the only case of its kind in a country that has grown used to ghastly crimes.

    Ten years later, St. Louis police are no closer to learning the identity of the child they know only as Jane Doe - or to finding her killer.


    Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the body in the basement of a vacant building in the Cabanne neighborhood.

    "It's certainly bizarre," said St. Louis Homicide Sgt. Joe Burgoon, who has been the main investigator for several years.

    The FBI agency that documents and studies unsolved murders reported this is the only decapitation in the country involving someone so young, Burgoon said.

    A remote lead was dispelled last week when the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's Office in Washington reported that a skull recovered in May in St. Louis County was not the murder victim's.

    "It was a long shot but worth pursuing," said Dr. Mary Case, the St. Louis County medical examiner, who had sent the skull to Washington.

    Dr. William Rodriguez, a forensic anthropologist, determined that it was too old to be the girl's skull.

    A Charlack police officer got the skull from a man he had questioned at a storage shed on St. Charles Rock Road, near Interstate 170.

    The man, Danny L. Davis, 34, of Pagedale, said he bought the skull for $35 in the late 1970s at a souvenir-gift shop on Lindbergh Boulevard near Northwest Plaza shopping center.

    Davis said he was told the skull was that of a young Indian woman who had been killed by a tomahawk.

    The body of the girl, who was black, was found Feb. 28, 1983 by two men rummaging in the basement of a vacant apartment building at 5635 Clemens Avenue. The body was clad only in a dirty yellow sweater; the hands were tied in back with a red and white nylon rope.

    Police determined that the girl had been killed elsewhere.

    "Back then, I believed this would be an easy case to crack," Burgoon recalled. "We'd find out who the girl was, and that would lead us to the killer."

    That never happened.

    Burgoon hasn't given up hope.

    "There's somebody out there who knows who this little girl was."
    </SPAN>geovisit();


    Thursday, March 3, 1994
    Section: NEWS
    </FONT>
    CARING DETECTIVE STILL GRIEVES FOR UNCLAIMED CHILD
    By Christine Bertelson






    THE HEADLESS body of Jane Doe haunts Leroy Adkins.

    Eleven years ago, Adkins was the cop in charge of investigating the murder, rape and decapitation of an unidentified child. Every year about this time, Adkins relives the agony of the unsolved case. This year, the recent murders of Cassidy Senter and Angie Housman have made the pain that much harder to bear.


    "Each year I feel that this case will finally be solved," Adkins said. "Each year I am disappointed in myself and in mankind. I will never forget, never rest, never be at peace with myself until this case is solved."

    Adkins, 62, retired from the St. Louis Police Department in 1992. He now is chief of security at Lambert Field. In 34 years of police work, no case ever touched him as much as Jane Doe's.

    It was Feb. 28, 1983, when Adkins - then commander of the city's homicide division - got the call for a dead body in the basement of an abandoned building at 5635 Clemens Avenue. Amid filth and debris, two men scavenging for copper had stumbled on the body of a girl about 9 years old. She had been murdered, raped and decapitated. Her hands were tied behind her back with a red-and-white nylon rope. She was wearing only a dirty yellow orlon sweater with the label cut out. She had two layers of red nail polish on her fingernails.

    The girl had medium-to-dark skin, was about 5 feet 4 inches and weighed about 70 pounds. Her body showed no signs of previous abuse - no bruises, scars or broken bones, and she appeared to be well-nourished. Because there was no blood at the scene, police suspect Jane Doe was murdered and decapitated somewhere else and dumped into the basement of the building.

    Adkins and his detectives spent thousands of hours on the case. Letters sent to every state police agency in the nation turned up nothing. City school records, woefully disorganized, yielded no clues to her identity. Adkins pleaded with the public to come forward with any scrap of information that would help identify the little girl.

    No one did.

    The child's body lay in the city morgue for several months, drawing a crowd of gawkers like some ghoulish carnival attraction. One day, a state legislator, with an entourage of people claiming to have psychic powers, showed up and demanded to see the body.

    Jane Doe was finally buried Dec. 2, 1983, in a pauper's grave on the southern side of Washington Park Cemetery. Four mud-covered gravediggers carried her small, white casket adorned with a single spray of pink, white and yellow flowers. The ceremony lasted five minutes. Months later, a group of schoolchildren raised money to buy Jane Doe a tombstone.

    Adkins went to the funeral, hoping that a friend or relative of Jane Doe might show up.

    No one did.

    Even though Adkins never wants to forget Jane Doe, he never visited the grave again. "I don't think I could bring myself to do it," Adkins said. "I get chills just thinking about it."

    Over the years, an occasional lead revives the case. Several weeks after the murder, someone wrote a letter to the police, naming the supposed killer. Last year, police recovered a human skull purchased in a souvenir shop near Northwest Plaza. A forensic anthropologist determined the female skull was too old to be that of Jane Doe.

    Police are now checking the life history of Samuel Ivery, a 35-year-old man sentenced to death for beheading a woman in Mobile, Ala. Ivery is a suspect in the 1992 beheadings of two women in East St. Louis. Between stints in mental hospitals, might Ivery have been in St. Louis at the time of Jane Doe's murder? For the moment, it's just a theory.

    For 11 years, Adkins has had recurring nightmares about Jane Doe. In the dreams, he is standing in the cold basement at 5635 Clemens, looking at the body. Like the meticulous cop he was, Adkins is searching for clues, trying not to overlook anything. But there is something he misses - the tiny detail that could crack the case. He wakes up in a cold sweat. Now and then, Adkins will see something in a magazine - mention of a missing black child about the same age Jane Doe would be today - and mail it to Sgt. Joe Burgoon. Burgoon, one of the detectives originally assigned to the Jane Doe case, is still working on it. Last weekend, Burgoon teletyped a description of Jane Doe's body to every police department in the country. Maybe somebody, somewhere, knows something.

    "The case is never closed," Burgoon said.

    It is not the brutality of the crime that troubles Adkins after all this time; he has seen plenty of brutal murders. What bothered him then, bothers him still, is the thought of a child no one would come forward to claim.

    "If we just knew who she was, I think it would be a burden lifted from my shoulders," Adkins said. "Where is the mother? Where is the father? Where are her brothers or sisters? Where are her relatives? Where are her playmates, friends or classmates? Where are her neighbors, her teachers? Where are the people who knew and cared for her? It's almost as if she didn't exist."

    Almost.
    </SPAN>geovisit();

  6. #6
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    This is one of those cases that has bothered me for a long time. I can't believe that no one has come forward yet. This little girl had to have had a family.


    Happiness...consists in giving, and in serving others.
    - Henry Drummond

  7. #7
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    BTK victim?

    Before Ridgeway was captured, there was some discussion on these boards about this little girl possibly being a BTK victim. That may have been ruled out by now.

    ------------------
    Unidentified African-American Female Child

    Located on February 28, 1983 in St. Louis, Missouri
    Cause of death was homicide; the victim was strangled.

    Vital Statistics
    Estimated age: 8 - 11 years old (DOB circa 1972-75).
    Approximate Height and Weight: 4'10"; 70 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: She was well-nourished. She had no scars, deformities or irregularities. Medium complexion.
    Clothing: She was wearing a yellow v-necked sweater and 2 coats of red fingernail polish.

    Case History
    The victim was located in a vacant apartment building on Clemens Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri on February 28, 1983. Two men who were in the basement of the building discovered the young girl. She was lying face-down in the furnace room with her hands tied behind her back with red and white nylon rope. The victim had been sexually assaulted prior to being strangled, which was the cause of her death.
    The victim's head had been removed with a large-bladed knife after her death. Her head has never been discovered. She had been killed elsewhere and brought to the vacant building after her death.
    There were no signs of previous abuse on the victim's body. There was no specific features that would give clues as to her identity.
    The St. Louis authorities have conducted extensive investigations into the victim's identity since 1983 and have received no clear leads. Her murderer(s) remain unknown, although several suspects have been under investigation. No arrests have been made in the case.

    If you have any information concerning this young girl's identity or the circumstances surrounding her homicide, please contact: St. Louis Police Department, Detective Thomas Carroll 314-444-5371

    NCIC Number: U-470002710
    The Doe Network: Case File 54UFMO

  8. #8
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    Did they ever find out if the skull belonged to the child?

  9. #9
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    Look at post #3

    It says in there that the skull was too old to be hers.

  10. #10
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    The age and race would be consistent with Nicole Betterson. Hmm...


  11. #11
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    I also seen a case on newspaperarchives.com about a black woman who was looking for her child that had been missing for years, her ex had taken her and then was later found not to have posession of her, I think he actually went to jail for kidnapping, I'll have to see if I can dig it up again. There was a big picture of her holding the child's photo, I don't know what year that was or where it was, but maybe if anyone has archives they can help me look.

  12. #12
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    Has anyone ever looked at Toya Hill for the unidentified child?

  13. #13
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    Missing persons....

    I googled "Nicole Betterson"; didn't come up with anything there.

    Info for Toya Hill is below.

    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/179dfmd.html


    Toya Hill
    Missing since March 24, 1982 from Baltimore, Maryland.
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction



    Vital Statistics Date Of Birth: August 24, 1973
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 9 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0; 80 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Black female. Black hair; brown eyes. Hill wears eyeglasses.
    <LI>Other: DNA available

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Hill left her home at 206 South Spring Court, Baltimore, Maryland, on March 24, 1982 to walk to a nearby store. She never arrived at the business and has never been seen again. Foul play is suspected.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrobones
    I googled "Nicole Betterson"; didn't come up with anything there.
    It's "Nikole Betterson"; the thread is right here http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37934

  15. #15
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    Bumping up her post

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