CA CA - Newark "Mowry Ave Jane Doe" WhtFem UP53306 <40, Oct 85

AggieLou

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Ruth Ellis is the half sister of Mowry Jane Doe. She is the relative found by DNA Doe Project. She and her husband are mentioned as survivors in mother's obituary. But not Jane Doe apparently because Ruth Ellis says she knew nothing of Jane Doe's existence. So maybe Ellis is not adopted but a child of one of mother's marriages. Or did she say she was adopted in an interview?
 

ntt1

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Ruth Ellis is the half sister of Mowry Jane Doe. She is the relative found by DNA Doe Project. She and her husband are mentioned as survivors in mother's obituary. But not Jane Doe apparently because Ruth Ellis says she knew nothing of Jane Doe's existence. So naybe Ellis is not adopted but a child of one of mother's marriages. Or did she say she was adopted in an interview?
The news story says she was adopted, my guess is that she probably found her birth mother before her death.
 

wary

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From the article:
“Ellis was adopted when she was only a month old”

“…Investigators said they think Jane Doe may also have been adopted in the 1940s, like Ellis, causing her to end up in California.”


I’m not arguing the adoption point, but it’s strange that the article/articles seems to think that they have to provide an explanation for why she was in California. She wasn’t an infant, or even a teenager. She could have moved to California at any time during 20 years of adult life. She could have decided to vacation there. Offering her adoption as a reason for her being found in California seems strange.

MOO
 

djanga

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I’m not arguing the adoption point, but it’s strange that the article/articles seems to think that they have to provide an explanation for why she was in California. She wasn’t an infant, or even a teenager. She could have moved to California at any time during 20 years of adult life. She could have decided to vacation there. Offering her adoption as a reason for her being found in California seems strange.

MOO
Yes, I thought the same! There are many Does who were identified and who were from one state but were found far away from where they were born, because they traveled there when they were adults.
 

Susikatze

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Her biological mom looks kind and somewhat worn out from life. She probably got pregnant with MWJD in her mid teens. It is possible she did not know where the baby was adopted to. In the 40s there were plenty of private adoption agencies and also private birth clinics for unwed mothers who adopted out babies. Those clincs kept records but they were not always reported to the state and once the clinic closed, were discarded.

Jmoo
 

AggieLou

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Interesting. From the snippets in that video, I wonder if this Doe was an NPE? 'Nobody knew Jane Doe existed', and then the relative who said she couldn't believe it but DNA proved it. She could have been adopted and nobody in her birth mother or father's family knew she existed. She could have been born to a married couple but her biological father was someone else. She could have been swapped at birth, even. Sounds like it might be a wild story. I can't watch since I'm in the UK but I hope someone else will post about it.
Good possibilities to investigate that you brought up. In the obituary of the mother of Mowry Jane Doe it mentioned mother was 2nd youngest of 9 children and all preceded her in death. Could be this child, our Jane Doe, was even given to an older sibling to raise and no one knew but that one sibling involved knew. It's happened in families where a child's real birth mother was an older sister, aunt, etc. Maybe she was raised by a teenage birth father's family. There may be no legal records as there would be in an adoption in these scenarios. But there should be some record of Jane Doe's birth in the mother's maiden name or first marriage name whether sealed in adoption or not.

This case hooked me right away as soon as I saw a FB post of DNA Doe Project on it a few days ago. A local Websleuth case, Who Was Buckskin Girl, was the first person they were able to ID using genetic genealogy. She had been unidentified since her murder in 1984, until about 2 yrs ago.
It will be very interesting to see how this goes.
 

AggieLou

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Yes, I thought the same! There are many Does who were identified and who were from one state but were found far away from where they were born, because they traveled there when they were adults.
Right, like Buckskin Girl found a few miles from me in Troy Ohio. She was first person they ID'd using genetic genealogy. She was from Arkansas but pollen analysis of her clothing indicated she traveled all over the country, and wound up murdered and left in a roadside ditch in Ohio. All this got LE nowhere in identifying her until genetic genealogy Websleuths has a page for her.
 

ntt1

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Working off the obituary of the biological mother and public records listings for Jane Doe's half-sister, it looks like the latter was born when her biomom was 17 and one year before she married her first husband.

EDIT: It also appears that the half-sister grew up in Texas, or at least her birth was registered there.
 

ntt1

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The DDP answered on the dedicated post today: “We are aware of birth certificate search process and the detective on this process is pursuing all leads”.
The Baby Holly Marie Clouse case was cracked in a similar way, hopefully they will have similar luck here.

Hard to say where she would have been given up for adoption, but I think it's possible that she was born circa 1947-1948 unless the mother secretly had another child while she was married.
 

Susikatze

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She may have been born one or two years before her half sister, leaving the bio moms age at 15 or 16.

Unless jd was born when the bio mom was married or between marriages - that is more unlikely, though, as she had 6 other kids she was able to care for - but stuff happened in times before effective birth control. Sometimes another baby was too much to take on for a single mom with other kids.

Jmoo
 

MarziPanda

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I guess it goes to show that genetic genealogy isn't flawless. It can identify biological family but not the family that raised you. If I were a Doe it would be really hard to identify me using this method because I'm donor conceived. Lots of matches on my bio father's side, very few on my mum's side - super distant relatives only. A half brother from a totally different family. I hope they can figure it out and that this case isn't a dead end.
 

AggieLou

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Working off the obituary of the biological mother and public records listings for Jane Doe's half-sister, it looks like the latter was born when her biomom was 17 and one year before she married her first husband.

EDIT: It also appears that the half-sister grew up in Texas, or at least her birth was registered there.
In legal adoptions I thought original birth certificate is sealed and new b/c is issued in adopted child's new legal name. I thought of another scenario. What if Jane Doe is a year younger and mother was pregnant again at first marriage and it was agreed to give that child up to adoption as well. Whatever the scenario it must have been hard on bio mother.
 

AggieLou

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She may have been born one or two years before her half sister, leaving the bio moms age at 15 or 16.

Unless jd was born when the bio mom was married or between marriages - that is more unlikely, though, as she had 6 other kids she was able to care for - but stuff happened in times before effective birth control. Sometimes another baby was too much to take on for a single mom with other kids.

Jmoo
One of those surviving children is the adopted half sister found by DNA Doe Project according to article posted here. So one adopted daughter is mentioned in obit of mother but our Jane Doe is not. Maybe mother did not know where she wound up or she did and did not want it known. Hope there's an identity eventually. I'm sure LE detectives are on to all possibilities here.
 

imstilla.grandma

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1655271477021-jpeg.349466

Nobbe reopened the case a few years ago. One of the first steps he took, he told KTVU, was having Santa Cruz, Calif.-based genetics company Astrea Forensics test a small clump of rootless hair that was taken from the deceased woman’s corpse and kept in storage.

“Astrea’s proprietary methods make it possible to recover genetic profiles from rootless hair and other highly degraded samples that otherwise fail traditional forensic DNA testing,” the company says on its website – which also identifies their reason for existing as to help solve cold cases and “determine the identify of unknown individuals.”

Their description of the “Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe” reads:

On October 24, 1985 the remains of an unidentified white female were discovered in a field next to Mowry Avenue, Newark, California. The remains consisted of a nearly complete skeleton with some reddish brown hair and scalp. The victim had been shot and had died approximately six months prior to being found. Forensic anthropologists determined the woman was an adult between the ages of 30 and 36 years old who stood 5’6” to 5’8” tall. Among the items found with her were barrettes, a watch, and earrings. In addition, the victim had a ring on her left ring finger and one on her left pinkie finger.
“They helped lead me down that path of who the mother of our Jane Doe might be,” Nobbe told KTVU of the combined effort.

The DNA extracted from that rootless hair led investigators to a since-passed woman named Marian Marie Richardson, who lived in a small Missouri town just across the border with Kansas. That woman had a distant relative in the Lone Star State named Ruth Ellis.

 

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summergirl1

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I can certainly see the resemblance between Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe and her bio mom from the bio mom's obit. Had Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe lived she may have tried to find her bio mom like her half sister Ruth did ( I'm guessing that is how they reconnected). Their bio mom must never have mentioned the existence of a another adopted out child to Ruth or I guess anyway else in the family. Maybe she assumed that if her other adopted out daughter wanted to find her, she would seek her out like Ruth seems to have. Of course, Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe couldn't after 1985 (if she wanted to or would have ever wanted to) because she was deceased. But obviously her bio mom never would never have imagined such a scenario. Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe probably knew she was adopted and maybe she tried to find her birth mom or birth parents and wasn't successful back then or maybe never she did. Hopefully her adoptive family can be found and her name found..
 

summergirl1

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The rootless hair technology sure is fascinating. Another thought I had about this case reading other posts in this thread is that it seems Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe maybe a few older years or a little older than was thought, based on the timeline of her bio mom's life and the age of her adopted out half sister. 36 is the oldest she was estimated to be, which would put her birth around 1949, when apparently her half sister was born. So she was possibly born in 1948 or earlier which would make her just a bit older than was thought.
 

ntt1

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The rootless hair technology sure is fascinating. Another thought I had about this case reading other posts in this thread is that it seems Mowry Wetlands Jane Doe maybe a few older years or a little older than was thought, based on the timeline of her bio mom's life and the age of her adopted out half sister. 36 is the oldest she was estimated to be, which would put her birth around 1949, when apparently her half sister was born. So she was possibly born in 1948 or earlier which would make her just a bit older than was thought.
Possibly, but the postmortem interval was stated to have been "years", so I guess the definitive answer would depend on whenever she was last seen (obviously that info would only come when she is IDed).
 

summergirl1

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Thinking about her age......

NamUs has "Estimated Age Group Adult - Pre 40"
DDP has "Estimated Age: 30-36"

I wonder how DDP has narrowed that down so tight.

Pre 40 would fit better with what is known of her bio mom's life and her half sister's age. I also wonder if the estimate that she was dumped in the wetlands around 6 months earlier (April 1985) is accurate or if "years" is more accurate.
 
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