Identified! MI - Manistee, Lake Michigan, UnsFem 20-60, UP511, Appendectomy scar, one earring, Oct'97 - Dorothy Lynn Thyng Ricker


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Aug 9, 2015
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The Doe Network 851UFMI


Unidentified Female

Date of Discovery: October 24, 1997
Location of Discovery: Manistee County, Michigan
Estimated Date of Death: Weeks prior to discovery
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Decomposing/putrefaction
Cause of Death: Unknown
Physical Description

** Listed information is approximate

Estimated Age: 20-60 years old
Race: Unknown
Gender: Female
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair Color: No hair. Dark brown pubic hair.
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Obese. Appendectomy scar. Pierced ears.
Dentals: Available. Orthodontic bracket to 8 and 9.
Fingerprints: Not available.
DNA: Samples submitted - Tests not complete.
Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: None.
Jewelry: One clear stone earring.
Additional Personal Items: None.
Case History

The decedent was located in Lake Michigan, against the break wall in Manistee, Michigan.
Investigating Agency(s)

If you have any information about this case please contact;

Agency Name: Manistee County Medical Examiner's Office (MI)
Agency Contact Person: Joyce deJong
Agency Phone Number: 231-398-1153

Agency Case Number: A97-192
NCIC Case Number: N/A
NamUs Case Number: MP/UP #511
Former Hot Case Number: 1251
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
Information Source(s)



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Oct 30, 2009
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Karen Mero would seem to be a possibility. She has an abdominal scar--hers is from a liver transplant but I'm not sure whether a postmortem could detect whether a liver had been transplanted--what kind of scars and traces it leaves? Her Charley:

Jane Bui seems possible because of her spleen scar, but I would think the dentals would mention a gold tooth.

I also found Vickie Baliel, who disappeared from California in August 1997. At 5'5" and 170 lbs, she's probably a bit small.

Crist has tattoos that aren't mentioned for the deceased, which makes her very unlikely. Dunn likewise, though she does have an abdominal scar and might be worth checking further to see if tats might have been destroyed by decomposition.

Found a couple of others who also had tats, nobody that looked very promising.


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Jul 29, 2011
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I couldn't find a thread on this lady, but saw that she was mentioned on this one. I've never been good about searching here on WS, so forgive me if she has a thread and I missed it. If there is one, could somebody point me to it?
Anyway, she's been ID'ed. Actually, I think she was ID'ed a couple years ago and word just now got to DoeNet.

Angela Rae Pilkerton, missing from Louisville (1997?) has apparently just been ID'ed. I'm from near Louisville, but haven't seen much of anything about her.

And I'm really confused as to the details. On DoeNetwork's "Closed Cases 2016" page, there is a link (or a copy of a story) from 2014 (Coroner releases identity of body found near
Churchill Downs
). I think it's from WAVE-3 (Louisville, KY) as it has a link to another story from them.

Mother finds body in backyard
WAVE-3 (NBC, Louisville KY)
"I found a body that was laying down face down on the ground."

A mother of two young girls was shaken up after finding a woman's dead body while throwing out the trash Saturday morning. The body was behind her fence at her home in the 1200 block of Phyllis Avenue, just blocks from Churchill Downs.
Police have not said who the woman might be or how she was killed. She was in her early fifties.

Terry is left to wonder what happened and why.

"All I keep thinking was, 'Why was this my house.' I would have never expected anything like this to happen at my residence," Terry said.

I don't understand what's up with the dates. Her DoeNet profile says that she went missing from Louisville around XMAS 1997. I don't remember hearing anything about her disappearance back then, but I was kind of in a Hell of a fog at the time. I had a bad wreck and I'd just got home from a month or so in the hospital/rehab (actually in Louisville).

Could this lady have just been hiding out around Louisville for well over a decade?
That's what those news stories sounded like. She was definitely a "fresh" body as the lady that found her in 2014 thought that she could have OD'ed or something. They weren't decomposed or skeletal remains.


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Jul 9, 2016
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That's a great match. As long as there's no endogamy, that's roughly a great great niece/nephew, half great niece/nephew, half first cousin, 1st cousin once removed, or second cousin. That sort of range. Let's hope for a swift ID with no complications.

Doe Network page says no hair. I wonder if the hair was lost due to decomp or if she was bald in life? You'd think a tall, curvy bald woman would be hard to miss.


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Nov 22, 2022
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Dec 30, 2021
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Dorothy was 26 years old at the time of her death and was from Chicago. She was last seen in Wisconsin on October 2, 1997 at 12:30 pm by police officers. They saw her sitting on a Lake Michigan beach park bench. Dorothy said she was in the area to enjoy the lakefront and the sun. She wasn’t reported missing at that time.

The next day an abandoned vehicle was found nearby. Police officers ran through the registration plate and traced it to a missing/endangered person report filed on Dorothy by the Chicago Police Department.

Body of Woman Who Washed Up in Manistee County Identified 25 Years Later - 9 & 10 News
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Dec 30, 2021
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More details…

On October 2, 1997 at 8 AM Dorothy ran out of gas and was given a ride by a Waukesha County Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy also gave her $10 for gas. This was hours before she was spotted at the park bench.

On October 5, 1997, the Milwaukee Journal Sentiment ran an article about Dorothy. Dorothy was upset that her family tried to get help for her mental health issues. On the same day boaters in St. Francis spotted a body in the lake but it vanished before police could recover it.

Woman who drowned in Lake Michigan in 1997 identified after 25 years as missing Chicago woman