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

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by Dexter Mills, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Thank you, i just expanded on the link originally posted by Mors_Et_Vita and a big welcome to Ws DetectiveDarkMuse!
    Mors_Et_Vita, Tabirey and Laughing like this.

  2. Claireishere

    Claireishere Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I actually just did some research old article wise on all of this. There is so much conflict in them. The basement was “to cold for rats” according to one detective. So I’m sure that did a lot to preserve her body. There were no tags in the sweater. Finding a consistent statement on where they thought she was from is impossible. You get different answers from different sources
    Laughing and dotr like this.
  3. PezCandy

    PezCandy With brave wings she flys

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Tags being removed isn’t that odd, I’ve been to many thrift shops and garage sales and a lot of clothes we have the tags have been removed, I used to have to remove the tags from my middle child’s clothing because his skin is so sensitive and the tags would irritate him. I totally understand you being irritated about it tho because I’ve came across a few cases where logos or tags etc have been snipped and it would have helped figure info out. Keep in mind tho that second hand stores do carry some outdated clothes (I recently scored a pair of whitewashed jeans from the 80s lol) and some do have the tags removed. I hope this case gets solved!!
    Tabirey, dotr and Laughing like this.
  4. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I decided to look into serial offender Tommy Lynn Sells. Has anyone else ever heard that he is/was a suspect in this murder???

    I can’t think of any other decapitated and sexually assaulted “unidentified girl around 8-10 years old who was found in the basement of an abandoned building in the 5600 block of Clemens Avenue”, in St. Louis, MO in 1983. He lived in the during the time and confessed to, and was most likely responsible for, the brutal murders of Colleen and Tiffany Gill in July of 1983.

    24 Sep 2003, Page 26 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch at

    I apologize that I can’t get the screenshot posted of the article. I’m sure it’s available elsewhere online, I just haven’t seen it. I did quote the article word for word. And I’m still researching the monster, so I may find additional sources and info....just wanted to share that.
    Triss, Laughing, Tabirey and 3 others like this.
  5. Moonwalker9

    Moonwalker9 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hey Othram. Congratulations on the pecos jane doe case. I heard its being solved. Let me just check with you if there is any progress in this case from your side.

  6. WeathersRabbits

    WeathersRabbits Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    St. Louis Jane Doe of 1983 (Also known as Hope, Little Doe, Little Jane Doe, "Precious Hope.", Lily, Sweater Girl, and The Girl Nobody Seems To Miss)

    Content Warning: The case involves the gruesome death of a child.

    I picked this case in hope of a quick and easy write-up. However, the more I looked for basic information the more and more the information became blurred. A game of telephone if it were. Please keep this in mind as you read through my write-up. I did my best to gather as much possible info but there are so many details that seem wrong or misinformed. Interestingly enough the lead investigator of the time also thought this would be an easy case. "Back then I thought this would be an easy case to crack," recalled Burgoon, one of the city's first homicide detectives at the scene. We'd find out who the girl was and that would lead us to the killer." - Joe Burgoon

    Feel free to copy-paste and use my collected info in any way you wish. Credit is nice but never needed for any cases I write-up. I would rather the info be used and our Little Doe's case eventually solved. Also, I'm probably going to keep adding and working on this write-up. The piles of information laying around are so vast! I am not worried about my spelling or grammar but I understand if you must point out my mistakes. There will be discrepancies with the info on this case just because the information available was so contrary! Lastly, if I have quoted you and you do not want your name attached just let me know, or if you want your name edited.

    The Story
    The story of the Little Doe starts out on a cold day on February 28, 1983, in St. Louis, Missouri. Two people often described as looters, enter an abandoned Victorian home (at one point renovated into an apartment) of 5635 Clemens Avenue in the city's West End Cabanne neighborhood at about 3:30 pm. Then straight from the pages of a penny dreadful, one of the men lit up a cigarette and illuminated the headless body of Little Doe who was there in the dark laying on the ground. Police quickly arrived and they assume she is a discarded prostitute, but when they turn her over they realize she was only a child. The newly appointed and first black commander of the homicide division Leroy Adkins was desperate to solve this case. Adkins wanted to show his community that the police cared for its black community just as much as it cared for its white. However, as hard he worked the case remains to this day unsolved.

    The Location And Day Details
    The historical records of weather for that address in St. Louis Missouri back up the claims that it was very cold that day. You can also see in the older news photographs that the police in the area dressed warmly and some are even smoking cigarettes as they searched. This is an important note because the weather had an impact on the body conditions and recoverable evidence.

    On that day in history the last TV episode of "M*A*S*M*A*S*H" airs. The day falls on a Monday and Ronald Reagan was president. It has been 37 years since this date.

    The site and area as seen in the photographs were defunct. The building itself was described as "a crumbling vacant apartment building." The photographs available can attest to this. Trash strewn about, full dumpsters and the building has opened windows, along with vacant property signs attached to the door. It is north of a previous invisible dividing line that divided cities even after de-segregation. It has been said that this area was predominantly black and there are some crime scene photos showing crowds of young black children watching the investigations. In the photos, the area is crowded with parked cars. The area is off the main loops or well-traveled zones but is close to several known drug areas and a loop notorious for prostitution at the time. Nowadays this area has seen improvements as well as a boost from an older generation and middle class.

    This is the best historical outline for this building that I could find. Tues. Sept 23 1975 the building was listed in the newspaper with a notice of delinquent tax liens and then the building was owned by a Bland S. Before that in the 1940's a man named Abraham Grabel lived there and before that, a catholic man of John Kern Boderick from the 1800s may have owned the home. The building is large, with red brick, and reaches about three stories tall. It has white stone trim and seems to have an overall feeling of once grandeur. Above the door frame in Latin is the inscription Domi the word for home.

    The homes in this area on average were built before 1930 and in particular, this area is known to have a great many mansions and large historical buildings. Some well cared for but most in disrepair. It is important to note that St. Louis has a particular abandoned property problem. It causes crime to sky-rocket and though non-so as gruesome similar crimes have happened in these abandoned buildings. It is sadly very common to find raped and tied up women in these buildings. Dog fights, homeless activities, and other crimes. The area was used as a dumping ground for trash and bodies.

    People that used to live there in the area described that in the 1940s through 1950s it was a mostly white middle classed neighborhood. Then it became predominantly black.
    The building has been demolished and replaced with a similar building in 2002 that provides housing for older adults called the "Leisure Living Community". It's unclear if the older building was bigger or if the new building was built just off to the side of the old location.

    They did a sweep around the area and canvassed the northwest St. Louis neighborhood but it was in vain. It was said they searched a 16 square block radius around the crime scene, searching sewers, trash cans, and even roofs for the head or any other clues but found nothing useful came up.

    Also important to note that the body was found in the building's basement furnace room. There was a lack of blood at the scene. Save for a few reports that there was a smear on the wall of the stairs and “You could see where there were trails of blood on the stone, where she was brought in there,” said Burgoon. which just concluded she had been carried down. The lack of blood is what makes the detectives certain that she had been killed elsewhere and placed. The fact she was placed here makes detectives think it might have been a local that knew crimes like this occurred in abandoned houses of the area.

    The basement was so cold the police report that it was too cold for "even rats". Thus the body had been well preserved. The photos show a darkened room with stone-like stairs and stone brick walls. The floor is littered and a few bottles can be seen on the ground including a bleach bottle. It's possible Little Doe was found under debris. Looking at an older video it seems the basement *might* have been accessible from the outside. There were outside stairs going down made of stone and the broken stairs above (before entering) were wooden and breaking. I have seen indoor house pictures featuring walls of blue wallpapers or paint. So, that's why it's a bit unclear if the basement was accessible from the outside.
    Within hours of her discovery, the police started a media blitz in hopes someone would come forward with a missing child that matched her description. Teletype messages were sent throughout Missouri and Illinois with no results. I've read some of these teletypes when nationwide. Months later these were stopped because of the cost. Adkins pleads with the community directly and held meetings at places like Bethesda Temple on Delmar Avenue. "Somebody out there knows something," he said. "Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your friends. Somewhere out there is a mother without a little girl, a brother without a sister, a neighbor without a little girl running up and down the street." Adkins continued going to community meetings for some time. Adkins said they corresponded with every police agency as well. When the case was fresh at least 15 officers and detectives worked the case.

    They questioned the community and surrounding area. In the old film, I can see crowds of people watching the crime scene area. Many of them are young children just like Little Doe. However, nobody knew anything.
    Then they went through the local school rosters and some surrounding areas. "We've even gone through school absentee records and haven't come up with anything" - Captain William E. Relling (Juvenile Division). With no results here wither this is what leads police to the idea that maybe the victim wasn't a local. It is important to note here that most of the school systems were disorganized and not very reliable in tracking children's names and whereabouts. School systems at the time got money for each child enrolled. Kids who were no longer in school were still being kept on records. Brenda Schlegel was upset about that public information and made it a point to harass the newspaper to write about it. They wanted the public to know that only "some" of the schools had issues but not all.

    Then a search of the area began to look for any evidence. Jerry Thomas and Frank Booker were only some of the police officers who searched the area. Looking at an old photo they searched every nook and cranny. Even dumpsters. The local area can be seen with large piles of trash. They had over 100 men searching at one point on Wednesday after the body was found on Monday.

    The case garners national attention and it's very obvious that detectives worked as hard as they could. Adkins pleaded with the black community for information and wrote ads in at least three black newspapers and magazines. They even put the word out in the prison systems in hopes someone would be mentioned.

    Groups in the northwest St. Louis neighborhood, begin a campaign to get the vacant buildings occupied, securely boarded, or torn down. A protest is held by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) outside of the building Grant Williams an organizer said about 40 people showed up. Skinker-Page-Union-Delmar (SPUD) organization discussed the vacant building issue. It helped at 7:30 pm at the New Mount Gideon church. It was an important topic that Little Doe was found in a building that had not been boarded up. Myrtle Hartfield of SPUD said that SPUD had been working with the Land Reutilization Authority to get the buildings boarded up. Little Doe also prompts community action to offer free fingerprinting services to young children in the area. Calena Glasby and organizer of a neighborhood said "The kids talk about everybody's anxious for it to be solved"
    Joe Burgoon seeks help from the FBI Academy In Quantico, VA in 1986 (A unit that operates a national database for unsolved killings.) however at the time only Little Doe's case was unique.

    Kristin Cole Brown of Child Find, a non-profit national organization that tracks down missing children. "Ms. Brown said the organization had recorded only one similar case - the July 1981 abduction of a 6-year-old Hollywood, Fla., boy whose head was found three weeks after he disappeared. (Adam Walsh the son of the TV Show host "America's Most Wanted") Adkins said the case of the beheaded girl may go unsolved if the girl was brought here from some other area or if a relative was involved in her death. Child Find did try to offer a 1,000 reward to anyone who could identify her. They probably should have then and now offered a reward for ANY lead.

    With this, the case winds down. Little Doe had lain in the cold room for nearly 10 months unclaimed.

    Nearly 30 years after Little Doe was found Adkins said the case gave him nightmares. Adkins was the first African-American homicide commander. It was important to him to try to solve this case because he wanted to show the black community they were cared for. "Besides finding out who she was, the other thing that really bothered me was, 'Did we do everything we could in our investigation? Did we miss something?" Adkins kept a chart on the wall of his office listing details of the Little Doe case and it included dozens of index cards with names of people that had been questioned.

    Detectives spent years trying to solve the case following just wisps of leads and stab into the dark. In the later years of the investigation, they would call families of missing children even remotely resembling the Little Doe just so they could rule them out. At least eleven families gave DNA. When one family didn't the investigators went so far as to search their trash for anything they could use as DNA evidence.

    I've consistently found news articles through the years of the detectives doing their best to keep this case in the public eye and very obviously trying to solve it. In 2016 Burgon again asked the FBI to run the case again. Burgon even used to send new bulletins across the country every year on the anniversary of her discovery. In 1990 he went on Oprah Winfrey's TV show to discuss the case. Adkins occasionally writes letters to local newspapers to remind people of the case.

    The Use of Psychics
    One of the more puzzling sides to this case is the frequent use of psychics. Looking only through the lens of today it seems absurd but during the time I can imagine the police had nothing to go on and were desperate. They also wanted to show the public they cared. Unfortunately, this cost the police the only pieces of evidence to LIttle Doe's case. When the authorities approached psychics, one said her head would be on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Another in Florida requested to see her sweater and the nylon bounds, but they were lost in the mail. Even another one, Sharon Nolte, believed she was a Chippewa Indian named Shannon Johnson and her killer was a drifter living in southern Texas. All the psychic claims led to dead-ends or were disproven.

    Other leads have been less conventional. Grasping for clues, Burgoon once sat in on a séance in a Maplewood home. Under dim candlelight, the detective passed around photocopied fingerprints of Jane Doe to a table full of psychics. As the clairvoyants channeled the spirits, Burgoon sat in the corner and observed.
    "The psychics put their hands on the fingerprints and would shoot straight up in their chairs like they got a jolt or something," remembers Burgoon. "At the end of the meeting, they told me to call the Coast Guard. The head is on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico."

    The séance wouldn't be the last time homicide detectives looked to the paranormal for help. In 1994 Burgoon and Adkins agreed to appear on Sightings, a nationally syndicated television show on the occult and the supernatural.
    Connected by phone, the homicide detectives sat in St. Louis with notepads at the ready while a psychic in Florida entered the mind of Jane Doe. Producers filled in the backdrop with Hitchcockian theme music and shadowy, slow-motion footage of children at play. The product was vague enough to seem eerily real, but it only harmed the investigation.

    Prior to the show's taping, detectives mailed the psychic the bloodied sweater and the nylon rope used to bind Jane Doe's hands. They never got them back. The evidence was lost in the mail. I heard the TV show was supposed to have mailed it back but they did it improperly and the items were lost.

    A group of psychics arrived to view the body in the cold room but nothing came of it.

    Little Doe
    Little Doe had been found laying on her stomach under trash and with her hands bound behind her back. Wearing only a dirty yellow jumper. Little Doe had the unfortunate honor of being the only decapitated eviction in the nation of the time.

    At first Little Doe was mistaken for being a prostitute or drug addict from the Cabanne Courts, a nearby housing project. It's hard to see why someone would confuse a child's body with an adult but Little Doe was bigger than average. Though only between the ages of 8-11 years old (it is possible she was older), she is around 5ft to 5 ft 4 inches tall and around 70 to 75 pounds. Even though she was thin it has been observed that was she was well-nourished. Little Doe had dark skin and it was of dark to medium complexion. Described as well cared for and not homeless her stomach had been empty at the time of her death so we know she had not eaten within 8 hours of her death. Little doe was reported to have not gone through puberty and did not have developed breasts. Her fingers had chipped nail polish in shades of red and at least two coats. There were no signs of previous abuses prior to this on her body.

    A white substance found on her stomach was initially believed to be semen, but further tests showed it contained no DNA.

    A public hair on her leg was also found but detectives are confident this belonged to someone on the scene after she had been found.

    Little Doe's sweater was described as a once-bright yellow orlon with long sleeves. There is no manufacturer's label. Often described as dirty there are several photos of the sweater available. The tag seems to be a darker color and possibly sewn in on the four corners. in one older newspaper, it described the label as ripped out. Does not seem to have any major dirt drag marks on it.

    The nylon cord is red and white and heavy. A newspaper clip suggests that this is similar to a ski rope or a boat line. Another news article of the time says it could have been jumping rope or a boat roap like that used to moor small boats.
    The autopsy (autopsy number 441-83) contrary to current popular belief failed to disclose a cause of death. Little Doe is oft-reported that strangulation was her cause of death. However, there is no conclusive evidence that this is so. The decapitation itself could have been a cause, strangulation, or suffocation. No other bodily injuries were there. * I have heard she may have had a bruise on her chest. No scars or abnormalities, no prior broken bones, and she still had her appendix. They think she had been dead only 2-3 days before her body was found. However important note some sources say the basement and the weather were so cold she was frozen through and the exact time of death could not have been pinpointed at the time. It wasn't until the mold testing was there a proper answer. The weapon may have been an ax, a large knife. Detective Riley said "Her head appeared to have been cleanly cut off, it was like somebody took a carving knife to her." large serrated knife. I also was not able to find a definitive document to say if she had been sexually assaulted but in general it seems to be thought that a one-time rape had occurred.

    Missouri Botanical Garden performed mold tests on her body which determined she had been killed within five days of her discovery. It had been concluded that she was raped by some articles but in others, I found contrary statements so this is debatable. Little Doe's fingerprints, footprints and DNA had been collected.

    I can't find any newspaper article that mentions this but there may have been some marks on her thighs that correspond with a dragging motion.

    Burial And Reburial
    Little Doe laid for 9-10month of her body unclaimed in the cold room. In the meantime, she did not rest in peace because people came to view her body often. She was treated like a spectacle. Once a State Legislator and a group of psychics arrived demanding to see the body.

    A memorial service was held publicly and about 60 area residents attended at the New Mount Gideon West Baptist Church, 725 Goodfellow Boulevard on a Sunday. Only a few weeks after finding her.

    Finally on Dec. 2, 1983, in a pauper's grave on the southern side of Washington Park Cemetery, Little Doe was laid to rest for a little while anyway. It was a dreary day and very muddy and she was carried to rest by only four pallbearers. Little Doe's casket was wooden and white and on top was a donated faux spray of pink, white and yellow flowers. It was said the ceremony only lasted for five minutes. Capt. Leroy Adkins, Sgt. Herb Riley, an Unnamed person from the medical examiner's office, and a representative from the Congress on Racial Equality attended that service. Rev. John W. Heywood presided.

    After burial in May 1984 students raised money for a white headstone which reads... “The saddened hearts were healed in knowing the pain of life is over and the beauty of the soul revealed.” but this was placed on the wrong grave. There her body was lost to the times and defunct cemetery.

    In 2009 police detective Tom Carroll tried to exhume the remains for further testing but was unable to find her. Three bodies were next to her marker but none hers. It took a lot of manpower and volunteers, led by Calvin Whitakera (who was helping to restore the cemetery and is a funeral director, contractor) to help find her again. Eventually, photographs of the original funeral provided by Ed Sedej, of Belleville (original photographer of the funeral) were shown by a reader Charles Fuchs to his niece, Abby Stylianous, a research associate in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Washington University. Then she and fellow researchers located the grave based on the old photos and aerial images from the U.S. Geological Survey. They were correct and they found her buried in her original wooden casket with donated faux flowers on top. Little Doe lay inside a body bag wearing the donated pink and white checkered dress.

    After testing was completed Little Doe was returned to the Garden Of Innocents a nonprofit organization that cares for the unidentified lost victims. She was scheduled for burial at 10 am Feb. 8 at Calvary Cemetary In the Garden Of Innocents. It was a cold and snowy day. Decon Peter Gounis preceded and several mourners arrived for the ceremony, unlike the first time she had been buried. Little doe had a white casket again but this time metal adorned in golden trim and brass angels on the corners; with a spray of real pink roses and white lilies that was donated on top. A golden and white angel teddy bear sits upon her casket. The ceremony was reportedly about an hour-long and included a choir and bagpipes. The Funeral director was Calvin Whitaker who helped find and transport her remains and the pallbearers were detective Dan Fox, Joe Burgoon, and Ron Henderson, and Tom Carroll. The detectives wondered if the mourners at the funeral included anyone related to the girl but it seemed most were strangers.

    Body Exhumed and New testing
    In around 2014 they were able to start testing again after finding her grave. A bone sample was sent to North Texas State University, which has an advanced DNA testing program that can match results to the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a resource center operated by the U.S. Justice Department.
    Little Doe was also examined by the Smithsonian Institution and St. Louis Medical Examiner's Office, testing for DNA and minerals to narrow her origins based on the water she drank. The mineral tests or stable isotropy analysis revealed the girl probably spent her life in one of 10 southeastern states: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Sometimes this list is a little more extensive or shorter depending on the article.

    Were there any suspects?
    There were very few leads in this case which left the door wide open for many theories none of which has yet to pan out. The police believed the killer was probably a family member because nobody reported her missing.

    Some officers and the public believed Vernon Brown the serial killer may have done it. Convicted for the murder of Janet Perkins and Synetta Ford and possibly Kimberley Campell. Brown was questioned but never confessed to any but this murder he was convicted for. Tom Carrolll had questioned him often but suspected he was involved with about twenty unsolved murders perhaps even Jane Doe 1983. He was executed on May 18, 2005, by lethal injection. His last words are "You'll see me again. To all my friends, don't think of me as being gone, but there with you. Ang to Jazz who has my heart and love. Peace, love. Vernon Brown."

    Tom Carroll and Jeff Stone interviewed Tommy Lynn Sells but the interview was inconclusive. "He'll claim anything. Whatever case you put in front of him he'll say, 'It could be me.'

    Please forgive the fragmented nature of the write-up from here on out. It became increasingly hard to find good solid information and so most of the work from here on out is quips.
    ''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.' (Assuming this quote by Joe Burgoon found in an old article means this lead never panned out)

    On April 28, 2001, another girl about three to five was found decapitated in Kansas City, Mo. Later identified as Erica Green in May 2005, Green's family was convicted of the crime. Ruled out in several ways.
    Months after the murder police investigated a report of a man who had a machete and a child's skull. Turns out it was a prop machete and the skull was from a high-school in California.

    A Charlack police officer confiscated a child's skull from a "skull freak" who kept many in a storage shed on St. Charles Rock Road. Danny Davis of Pagedale told the cop he bought the skull for $35 in the late 1970s at a souvenir-gift shop 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. A forensic anthropologist determined it was too old to be Jane Doe's skull.

    A bizarre exclusion from a Sharon Nolte in 2002. A Kansas City insurance investigator, she was convinced Jane Doe was a Chippewa Indian named Shannon Johnson. Nolte even claimed to have met the killer. She went out of her way to privately collect DNA and having it tested but everything came up negative. Despite this, she maintains she is correct. "I don't give a rat's ass about the police department. I think they stink," she says. "I told them who she was and who killed her, and they never did anything with it. I had a bag full of the killer's pubic hair. Do you know how difficult it is to collect a bag full of pubic hair?" The police were sympathetic to her and looked into her investigation but said they found nothing.

    Weeks after the case someone wrote a letter to the police claiming to know the killer. Nothing came of this.

    Then on Feb. 26th, 1986 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that another anonymous letter was written and received on Feb. 14. Capt. Charles Alphin appealed that the letter writer called, but nothing came of this.

    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 was named as a possible lead in an older news article but obviously, nothing came of this.

    It was said that the two looters did not have a family relation to Little Doe.

    I've heard but do not have proof that she is not Tiahease Jackson or Jovannah Crawforn.

    Exclusions From NameUS which is reputable are;
    Sherri Truesdale 6/13/1970 North Carolina
    Beverly Ward 7/04/1978 Kansas
    Yohanna Cyr 12/28/1976 Montreal, Canada
    Telethia Good 9/10/1978 Maryland
    Sherise Magee 8/1/1975 Nevada
    Toya Hill 3/24/1982 Maryland
    Sheila Quinn 2/27/1980 Illinois
    Shaunda Green 10/15/1983 Michigan
    Sharaun Cole 2/25/1983 New York
    Newton County (IN) Jane Doe UP6107
    Northampton County NC Jane Doe

    Theories, Loose Notes, and Hearsay
    Billylee from websluthes noted that her death may have been on a Thursday prior to a long three-day holiday weekend.
    not_my_kids points out she may have been murdered during the feast of St. Agnes
    It's worth looking for a mother who may have gone missing or murdered around the same time as Little Doe was found. Then ruling out family relation by DNA.
    Have they tried a Familial DNA search? This or someone coming forward with some info is probably what will crack this case in the end.
    Many of us sleuths hope they try DNA phenotyping. It's been discussed and even some people seemed interested. Some issues with them not wanting to phenotype children. lay's people have considered funding this privately. I read that it could be around the ballpark of 4 thousand dollars but I did not research that myself.

    Perhaps both parents died and Little Doe was given to a next of kin in St. Louis or put into the system.

    Can the lost mail be somehow found if the mail service would corporate? Is dead mail sorted by years and by area?
    Some people including myself have pointed it does seem like someone or something is stalling her case. Perhaps it's simply a cost issue. Who knows?

    Apparently many black girls went missing from Chicago in the 80's The List of Black and Missing Continues to Grow | The Crusader Newspaper Group

    Discussion About Little Doe's Body
    These notes about Little Doe's body are fragmented. I've picked up loose thoughts and theories and just put them together here for you.

    One idea is that her skull is no longer intact but rather fragmented and scattered maybe even in different states. Some think that the killer would have kept a trophy so perhaps her skull is still recoverable. Others think it would be very easy to disregard just ahead and have it never be found in the St. Louis area. I guess it would be worth it to make sure that we tag any unidentified skulls within the limits of what we know and make sure they are ruled out.

    (There had been more extensive crime scene photos available online at one point but with the age of the crime these have lessened.) We don't know if there are bruises around her wrists, or if there are hesitation marks, we don't know if impressions of the wounds were taken to see if there are distinguishing tool marks, nor do we know what type of decapitation exactly. Some say there was just a hole at the neck but does that mean anything was removed? Were the bones severed in between joints? The decapitation is unusual being at the shoulders. What is the significance of this? Ritual, removal of identifying marks, a habit from an old job?

    The nail polish is striking. Some people find it odd, some people think it's a hidden message or sign. Others say it's an innocent childhood experience. I have also found a few sites that differ in her nail polish shades with some saying purple and red or two different shades of red. Examining her hand's photos which is widely available for a search I noticed her nail polish is chipped at the fingers. Depending on the polish that can happen 1-3 days after painting depending on what sort of activities you do. A child... probably less time but I also noticed her nails had grown out from the bottom. You can see the white moon shape of her nail base... indicating that the growth time between her nail painting and the photos was probably 1-2 weeks. Keeping in mind that nails grow after death and she had been there at least five days. It's possible she had only painted her nails 1 week more or less before her death. Also, keep in mind I know now what cold temperatures would do to post mortem nail growth.

    Many people including the police it seems to think that Little Doe could be older than just 8-11 years.
    Perhaps a classmate might remember a tall black girl who stopped going to school from one of the states that she was thought to be from.

    Discussion About The Sweater
    I noted that the sweater has dark pooling of most likely blood on one of the arms/shoulders. I wonder if that indicates that she may have laid on her side during the decapitation or at least parts of it. I also think that perhaps the perp may have been right-handed. It seems the killer was very neat and or had a setup to do this with minimal blood on upon the sweater. Unless that means she was placed into the sweater afterward, which implies that might not be her sweater. This is interesting as I read based on hearsay that the sweater might have had folds in it like it was brand new. A websluth chemicalpixie did a deep dive and they theorized that the sweater wasn't a female or a child's sweater at all. It does not seem that the very deep v shapes were a style for children or women but rather men. Some think the sweater wasn't mass-produced but others say it was a widely available item. Might be worth trying to learn what clothing stores would have been available in this area.

    There are several theories about the brands of the sweater available. Studio one campus, Norm Meagers, Christian Dior or Christian Dior Knockoff, Dragon Brand, and Sears.

    The tag may have been removed to hide sizing, name, initials, or even perhaps a homemade tag. My mother had a custom sewing tag she put into my clothes sometimes. That was popular in the 80's/90's. It is common for children to have tags cut out for many reasons and for writing their names inside of clothes. However, most reports I can find say the tag was ripped out.

    Discussion About The Rope
    Similar to the sweater it is hard to pin down if the rope is unique or a mass-produced item. It does seem to lean for a cheaper item than can be found for equipment near water. The top two rope brand theories so far are Pelican Tow or Crown Bolt.

    We've tried to study the way rope was tied and it seems there are no knots that can be seen. It's either friction tightening technique or no technique at all and opting for a lot of wrapping to keep secure. It does seem to be a lot of rope being used here.

    That could show someone who isn't familiar with knots or the other theory in which the rope wasn't there to secure her down but rather to help move her body after death. It doesn't seem like there is any blood on the rope from the photos. We don't know if there are bruises around the wrist. Websluth Snufamonbobball points out that the rope seems to go over sweater cuffs. Also in further pictures of just the rope and it seems to have red and yellow tape as well as fibers. It's unknown why it's there or why it's not in her original crime scene unless that's just tagging after the fact.

    Discussion About Little Doe's Identity
    Who is Little Doe? That is the cornerstone of the entire murder investigation. There aren't many leads but there are many theories and ideas. Some suggest she was homeschooled or a frequent truant child of a public school. There is the idea that her guardian died and she was rewarded to next of kin and some spin-offs to this theory as well such as she was visiting family from out-of-state, her parents are deceased or she was apart of the foster care system. Perhaps she had been adopted legally or illegally. Human trafficking is a theme often talked about as well as the possibility of her being a runaway. Possible family issues such as sold into slavery or similar because of blood-revenge or debts. I really think there could be something to the foster care system theory. I found a very eerie and similar case of another murdered girl. Known only as Chelsea Jane Doe, her killer was caught but she was not identified. They suspect she had been a former foster child and a victim of sex trafficking. Basically, she's unidentified because nobody cared to look for her from the system. In America, there's only been recent pressure on foster and similar facilities to report any missing children from their care. There are lots of loopholes as well that would allow mistakes and mishandling. 74% of endangered runaways reported to NCMEC in 2015 were CST in 1-5. 74% were cared for by social services or foster care.
    I have left out several theories about her being a foreigner to the USA because isotopes have ruled that out.

    This is a list of possible victim matchups but keep in mind this could be outdated/ruled out by the time you read this. Nikole Betterson, Yolanda Williams, Kelly Staples, Tara Cossett Cossey, Kelly Juanita Staples, Tracy Davenport, Ivy & Violet Matory *Possible Victim Relations, the sister that died in a fire along with their mother but there was supposed to be three daughters. Alfred Foote, Jr., Rilya Wilson, Telethia R. Good, Sherise Magee, Angela Marie Brosso * Just possible Connection.

    Possible Skull - Me/C 20000-0053, Sex Female, Race Black/African American, Found Feb. 10, 2000, Florida, Culf County (Shrimp Boat workers found the skull in the Gulf Of Mexico.) This skull is said to have belonged to an adult.
    These girls went missing AFTER the body was found but I included them in a possible list of people to try to rule out because I thought perhaps the family reported the child missing after waiting a long period. Maybe fitting with a runaway theory or kidnapping by family and the other family, not realizing, remorse or guilt... either way I think it's time to start flipping every stone. I did not include very young girls on this list because it wouldn't match upright. To be honest these girls are very long shots.

    Christine Green NCMEC: 601571 ; Missing Apr 23, 1985 from Philadelphia, PA, DOB Mar 28, 1969 H 5'10 W 90 lbs. Last seen at 16 yrs old wearing a pink blouse, blue vest, jeans, and black shoes.

    Kelly Harris NCMEC: 603337; Missing since Aug 10, 1984, from Jackson, MI, DOB Apr 29, 1971, H 5'5 W 100 lbs. Last seen at home. Bike found in park miles away from the home same day.
    Sheketah Brown NCMEC: 600459; Missing since Jul 16, 1985, from Port Saint Lucie FL, DOB Dec 20, 1974, H 4'6 W 65 lbs. The children and their mother were last seen at home on July 16, 1985. Missing under suspicious circumstances. Foul Play Suspected.

    Sandra Powell NCMEC: 734036 Missing since March 11, 1987, from South Bend, IN DOB March 15, 1970, H 5'5 W 130 lbs. Unlikely this is a match but included because her description is unique. Light complexion, chipped teeth, and a scar on the right side of her neck.

    Discussion About The Killer/Killers
    The killer may not have had access to a car or at least constant access to a car. They may have help getting the body into the basement or perhaps with the whole deed in general.

    Possible Killer Theories; BTK Killer, Ottis Toole, Curtis Thomas*has no family relation to Little Doe, Douglas Daniel Clark, Alton Coleman, Michael J. Devlin, Michael Koote., Maury Travis, Belizean Jack the Ripper, and Michael Foote.
    I'm Adding Samuel Little From Texas because he killed a lot of black women in the '70s and '90s traveling all over the country. He did kill in East St. Louis based on his own confession. ViCAP at 800-634-4097. * I don't know if he's ever been submitted as a suspect

    I'm adding Henry Lee Lucas the drifter because he could have been in the area and did murder several women as well as the decapitation of one woman.

    Mors_Et_Vita did some incredible work on Webslutths and created a chart of all murders of black females in St Louis in 1983 and they also put together a chart of all the solved murders. Very invaluable work which could have an impact as it could help narrow down possible mothers of Little Doe or patterns not previously known. The chart is available through websluthes thread in case these links stop working.

    The good news is that a fresh new cold case unit has worked on this case as recently as Sep 24, 2020. St. Louis Metro Homicide Division, Lt. Scott Aubuchon is head and even has an entire room dedicated to working on just her case. They think they will solve the case if someone can come forward and name a little girl who went missing during that time. If you have any information call 314- 444-5371.

    Though just because a cold case unit is finally looking into this case I think we should still try to get this little girl's story out there. In my heart, It seems like she may have been in the foster care system and lost on purpose or accident. Either way, I know it will be a needle in haystacks to find her identity. Would we be able to start our own social media blitz? Perhaps we could put more public pressure on the case to propel geology work or a DNA based photo of our Little Doe. We must become her family. We must hold people accountable and we want her name back.

    People Profiles

    The amount of people that have worked on this case is enormous. I will always probably be updating this list as I find more and more names. ​

    The Two Looters: Male, rummagers, and metal scrappers The two male looters' identity has never been publicly released. It was said they were looking for a pipe. Some report it was fixing their car but it's possible they were looking for scrap metals. looking for a piece of metal to fix their car's timing chain or drive chain. I read that a family relation was ruled out between these two men and Little Doe.

    Tom Carroll, Detective
    Leroy J. Adkins Chief of Detectives and Homicide Commander, Captain retired St. Louis Department in 1992 and became chief of security of Lambert Field.
    Sgt. Herb Riley (Primary Investigator Deceased 1996)
    Wayne Bender (Primary Investigator)
    Sgt. Joe Burgoon Homicide (Primary Investigator)
    Dr. Mary Case, the medical examiner for St. Louis County and St. Charles County
    Calvin Whitakera, funeral director and contractor
    Jeff Stone, Detective
    Lt. Scott Aubuchon, St. Louis Metro Homicide Division
    Dan Fox, Detective (Youngest among the three generations of detectives to work on this case)
    Ron Henderson, Detective
    Bill McClellan, Writer For St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Robert Boaz, acting chief of detectives
    William E. Relling, Captain, Commander of the Juvenile Division
    David Hayes, Spokesman for Medical Examiner's office
    William Wilson, LT. deputy commander of the homicide division
    Dr. Mary Case, St Louis Deputy Medical Examiner
    Jerry Thomas Officer
    Frank Booker Officer
    Lt. Col. John A. Doherty Chief of Detectives
    Bill McClellan Post-Dispatch Newspaper Writer
    Stanley Sztukowski Former Homicide Detective Consulted On The Case '83
    Sgt. Lloyd Huggans Police Juvenile Division
  7. WeathersRabbits

    WeathersRabbits Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    St. Louis Jane Doe - Wikipedia
    St. Louis, MO Weather History | Weather Underground

    St. Louis Jane Doe Resource | Learn About, Share and Discuss St. Louis Jane Doe At
    St. Louis cold case investigators still have hopes of solving 1983 ‘Little Jane Doe’ murder | FOX 2
    30 years later, unsolved case of young 'Jane Doe' still haunts police
    Has her skull been found? Collector of skulls has child piece in his collection- not JD -
    35 years ago, the body of a headless girl was found in St. Louis. The mystery has haunted this town ever since.
    Research unlocks some secrets about decapitated girl for St. Louis detective
    Slain girl's remains found as part of 30-year-old St. Louis murder investigation
    Slain girl's remains found as part of 30-year-old St. Louis murder investigation
    Experts join hunt for slain child's grave in Berkeley cemetery
    McClellan: A little girl nobody knew
    St. Louis Cops, Researchers Find Remains Of Slain "Jane Doe," Girl Decapitated 30 Years Ago
    Body of decapitated Girl still unidentified,.found at 5635 Clemens avenue in the basement. -
    Thousands of vacant buildings take heavy toll on St. Louis police, firefighters
    MadMcGoo, annemc2, Melt71 and 5 others like this.
  8. Roselvr

    Roselvr Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Carl K has given her LE Parabons information. They could have had a face made with DNA technology and used DNA for family trees to solve the case. Carl even told them there is funding available. Too bad they haven't done it yet.
  9. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I think many organisations are hesistant to get involved with cases of children because the killer was likely a family member.
  10. Melt71

    Melt71 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Maybe a letter to the editor of one of the big MO newspapers? Get more members of the public involved with motivating LE?
  11. Triss

    Triss Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I know DNA Doe Project doesn't get involved in cases including children for that reason exactly. Hopefully there are some other companies with a different policy on children, because I feel like DNA is this girl's only hope. And to be honest, if a member of my family killed someone I would like to know that.
  12. ntt1

    ntt1 Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I am sure that there are many cases that are undergoing FGG work and have not been announced publicly (and likely will not be unless they are solved), perhaps this is one of them.
  13. AkitasAreLovely

    AkitasAreLovely Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    According to a recent Vimeo video, which is linked in her Unidentified Wiki page, they are trying to get a suitable DNA profile for her. This is probably the most well known Doe case in St. Louis, I have no doubts that St. Louis detectives are trying to solve it.
  14. Roselvr

    Roselvr Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Parabon would have taken her case.
  15. AkitasAreLovely

    AkitasAreLovely Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I wonder if they could build a facial image of her or the person who killed her.
  16. WeathersRabbits

    WeathersRabbits Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Yes, and that creates a legal issue correct? Whereas it's the legality of the non-profit organization? For-profit organizations that are trying to find leads to killers can do it legally if they want though I think? Maybe someone can make a better response. I always bungle the words somehow.
  17. WeathersRabbits

    WeathersRabbits Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Yes!!! I'm not going to do it though. I've run out of social interaction points. I nominate someone else.
    MajorHoople likes this.
  18. WeathersRabbits

    WeathersRabbits Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    After Thoughts

    Things in bold are stuff other people could help track down if they wanted to try!

    The differences in information are a hot topic in this case. Some people have viewed it as mishandling. I personally think that the case has just been around so long that the information has just been warped through the years. I also think due to the time era some of the details had been talked around vs. directly addressed in the public and that also created a bit of warp in the information on the case.

    Many people are really hung up about the pubic that was found at the scene. So, I'll read you the direct excerpt and quote on where I got that information. I would like to find the original newspaper or source that this quote came from unless this was it and then perhaps a second source to back this info up.

    "A pubic hair found on her leg failed to provide enough DNA to identify a killer, but Carroll and others have a theory on the origins of the hair -- it fell off one of the cops at the crime scene." "I'd lay money down that it came from one of us," Carroll says.

    The Case That Haunts

    Some have theorized that perhaps it came from the use of an old funeral home bag. Others have said pubic hairs just end up all over the place because that happens more than most would like to even think about.

    More resources I missed this first time: Excellent write up from one year ago.

    Rumor has it that the St. Louis PD do know about Parabon NanoLabs but have not given a public statement on why they have yet to utilize it. It is also rumored that Parabon has actively offered to do this case. I found on websleuths that during a workshop an employee from Parabon expressed interest in wanting to expand into Missouri. They implied St. Louis might be a good start because they are more likely to receive a grant. In 2018 a websluth CarlK90245 contacted the detective Detective Dan Sweeney who was at the time in charge of the case and mentioned Parabon NanoLabs. It seems another webslueth Roselvre-mailed about this as well in 2016 but never received a reply. Honestly, if you have questions about this topic Roselvre- seems to be the most knowledgeable!

    Some speculations say it's a money issue, police corruption issue, or too little of a DNA issue.

    I am going to e-mail the homicide unit on this case 1/28/2021 and suggest Parabon NanoLabs.

    I think as others have said it's possible this case is being worked on behind the scenes and they won't make announcements unless something substantial has come along. After all, they have tried working with the public before with some interesting results. I still think we should personally keep putting her name and story out into the public to encourage closure for our girl.

    I have found some references to Identifiers but I don't know if they have ever been officially contacted to take this case on? :: IdentiFinders - Home :: I've used up all my social anxiety points on the last e-mails sooooo this one is open for someone else. I don't think Identifinders does grants though.

    Isotopes may have been done TWICE explaining the large range of states and info we have today. A webslueth Roselvr pointed this out.

    "Full Anthropology exam and isotope analysis completed by NCMEC and the Smithsonian. Advanced forensic testing of her bones has also suggested that the female was not originally from the local St. Louis area but possibly spent most of her childhood in the following states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and West Virginia.
    Additional tests showed that the victim may have also been from the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee."


    sidneyia from Reddit points out that, although not significant loose-fit clothes were not a popular style for girls and women in the early 80's. However, she may not have had the option if it were a hand-me-down or donation box. They also point out that orlon doesn't really fade so if this is indeed the material for the sweater then the pastel yellow hue would have been a common item. (sidneyia is in the vintage clothing business)

    There have been several notes from different people suggesting that Little Doe may have had a condition that delayed her growth or altered it in some way. The conditions suggestions are numerous to mention so I won't add them all here.

    Looking into the dead mail and where it could have ended up. Sounds, like destroyed at this point but you never know.
    If the police ever investigated the killer being apart of the postal service or TV company that lost the evidence in the mail.
    jannysunshine from reddit said that their mother was hip to makeup in the '80s and she refused to paint the nail moons citing it was unhealthy for the cuticles. They wonder if someone had done this for Little Doe. It only further points to Little Doe having come from a loving and caring place if this were true.

    becausefrog from reddit added that warehouse stores sell new merchandise but often rip out tags of clothes for insurance purposes. So, we can add this to our list of possible reasons why the sweater tags are gone.
    ohwell117 from reddit asked if Little Doe's toenails were painted if she had shoes. They also made some good connections between the serial killer Vernon Brown and Little Doe. Their idea of the sweater was a possible school-related one because of the thinner materials. (Little to know information on her feet besides footprints.)

    I'm adding a possible theory that maybe they were in process of dismembering doe? It's a loose thought and doesn't exactly seem to fit but I'll add it here anyway.

    Finding the Oprah Winfrey's TV Episode featuring Joe Burgon from the 1990s. I am going to guess it would have aired around the anniversary of her discovery as Joe seemed to reactivate any social leads he could around this time.

    Finding the episode in "Sightings" around 1994 where Burgon and Adkins agreed to appear. This is also the TV show that lost the evidence in the mail.

    Adding Little Doe's Case to the submission form on 'Unsolved Mysteries TV show' Submit Your Very Own Mystery to Unsolved Mysteries

    Asking for Little Doe's case to be covered by Buzzfeed Unsolved.

    Finding original newspapers and magazines from black communities about this case. Keeping in mind "Sweater Girl" was used most often to discuss her in the community.
    annemc2, Laughing, dotr and 3 others like this.
  19. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
  20. Mors_Et_Vita

    Mors_Et_Vita Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice