OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Opelika Police are releasing new information about the murder of baby Jane Doe as they continue their decades-long search to identify the child and bring her killer to justice.
On January 28, 2012, the remains of a young black girl between the ages of 4 and 7 were found in the woods behind Hurst Street, a trailer park in Opelika, Alabama. A long-sleeved pink shirt with heart buttons and ruffles was found near her body. Forensics revealed that the child’s left eye was scarred and blind. Police believe she was abused and neglected prior to her murder.
The investigation recently led detectives outside of Alabama and other states where baby Jane Doe may have lived.
“We had some investigative leads and we need to find out and find out if she’s from North Carolina or Virginia. We do, and we need all the help the public knows,” said Captain Jonathan Clifton.
Families in Norfolk and Chesapeake, Virginia, and Northampton, North Carolina, are being asked to look at reconstruction images and images of a little girl at the Greater Peace Church in Opelika taken in 2011. The girl in the photos is believed to have been Jane Doe when she was alive.
Shortly after her body was found, police released a clay facial reconstruction showing what she might have looked like before her death. The reconstruction prompted members of the Greater Peace Community Church in Opelika to come forward and claim they had seen the child before but did not know her name or family. Police say they looked through Sunday school photos taken in the summer of 2011 and came across some that resembled the little girl found in the woods. The photos were released to the public, but no new information was generated.
A sketch was created by an NCMEC forensic artist with the help of a Smithsonian Institution forensic anthropologist. An updated sketch was created and published in 2021.
“It’s been over 10 years now and we still don’t have a name for her and we want a name and she deserves a name. Any help from the public would be greatly appreciated. anything. No tip is too small,” said Captain Clifton.
The Opelika police won’t stop until they can give baby Jane Doe justice and a name.
It is estimated that the child died between 2010 and 2011, with a focus on the summer or fall of 2011. She is estimated to be between 4 and 7 years old and had medium length black hair styled in corn buns. Her height, weight and eye color cannot be determined. An anthropological examination of her bones suggests that she was likely abused and malnourished throughout her life. Chemical isotope tests on her bones indicate she was born and raised in Alabama or one of the surrounding southern states, and investigation has revealed that she may have had ties to the Orlando, Florida area.