Twenty-seven years ago, the skeletal remains of a young woman were found in West Palm Beach, and tonight detectives are still trying to identify her. As Patrick Fraser tells us in tonight’s Out for Justice, detectives believe she could be from this area, and they’re asking for your help to put a name to her face.
WSVN — In 1987 her body was found in a field in Palm Beach County.
Detective William Springer, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office: “She could have been out there for three months to three years.”
There was no evidence to reveal how the woman died or who she is, so her name right now is “Jane Doe.”
William Springer: “She was skeletonized. There was no clothing found with her, nothing to really aid with the investigation. It’s a dead-end investigation.”
A dead-end investigation, but Detective William Springer is still hopeful of giving Jane a name, because a clay model of the woman’s face is being transformed by forensic artist Paul Moody.
Paul Moody: “What we’ll end up starting with is the skull.”
With new technology, “Jane’s” face is coming alive.
Paul Moody: “The bones will tell you right off the bat the ethnic origin. It’ll tell me the approximate age, the shapes and sizes of some of the facial characteristics.”
From the clay model to this of a pretty white female estimated to be between 20 and 40 years old, from 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-6.
Paul Moody: “We’ll use markers for the width of the mouth.”
The woman’s body was found in Palm Beach County, but that doesn’t mean she was from that area. You see, in 1987 that part of the county was very rural, and when a killer in Dade or Broward wanted to dump a victim, they sometimes headed north.
William Springer: “Back in the late 70s, 80’s and even on into the early part of the 90s, before Palm Beach County developed, we were a dumping ground for bodies from Broward County and Miami. We have probably, in Loxahatchee, 30-something unidentified bodies in Palm Beach County which were recovered during that time period.”
Paul Moody: “Not too long ago we had Mr. Cuevas. It was a head and a foot found in a steel box.”
In fact, in 2009 Moody turned that head found in Palm Beach County into this rendering. A man called to say it was his missing brother from Broward County. Detective Springer hopes it happens again.
William Springer: “We’d love to give Jane Doe a name. We may never solve the case, but if we can give her a name and her body back to her loved ones, that’s a lot of job satisfaction.”
To do that, Detective Springer needs people missing a relative to look at the artist’s renderings or contact law enforcement, because they also have the DNA from the victims.
William Springer: “That’s why it’s really important, that if someone has a missing loved one, and if law enforcement hasn’t collected their DNA and hasn’t been in contact with them, they need to get in contact with law enforcement.”
Someone is missing this Jane Doe. Someone could finally give her back her name.
William Springer: “We’ve had her since 1987, and that’s a long time to go without knowing where your sister, your mother, an aunt who disappeared, what happened to them.”
So take a look. If you have a missing family member that looks even a little like “Jane,” missing since 1987, pick up the phone and call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.
And if you have lost a loved one and want to remind people you are still out for justice, give us a call. With this Out for Justice, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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Out For Justice
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