1971 Oregon cold case Jane Doe may have ties to WNY

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. (WIVB) – Investigators in Josephine County Oregon want Western New Yorkers to take a good look at a new artist rendering of the face of the victim in a decades old cold case. New forensic tests have shown she may be from our area.

The victim was found at a campsite in Cave Junction, Oregon, in 1971. Investigators are still searching for answers about who she was and what happened to her.

“We all have major cases that stay with you, even after you retire, and Annie is one of them,” said Wes Curtis, a retired detective with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim was nicknamed “Annie” because the initials A.L. were found scratched on the surface of the mother of pearl ring she was wearing when her body was found. She was also wearing a pink and beige coat, jeans, and leather shoes with gold buckles.

For decades, her identity has remained a mystery, but new forensic isotope testing is offering a new lead.

“Those stable isotopes will develop in someone’s body based on food intake, and based on water intake in the geographic location in which you live,” explained Nici Vance, a forensic anthropologist with the Oregon State Police, in a video released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children about the Jane “Annie” Doe case.

“Your signature in the isotope compounds in your body will give us an indication of where you grew up, where you have recently been,” Vance added.

Looking at the isotope compounds in Jane “Annie” Doe’s hair, bones and teeth, investigators believe that she may have grown up in the northeast corner of the United States before heading west into the Great Lakes region, likely staying along the U.S-Canadian border.

That’s why they’re asking everyone here in Western New York to take a good look at what they have in this case, to see whether it rings any bells.

The girl was 14 to 25 years old when she died, found wearing a pink and beige waist length coat, a tan long-sleeved turtleneck blouse with a neckline zipper, a pair of Wrangler jeans (size misses 13-14 slim) and a pair of square-toed brown leather shoes with gold buckles. Jewelry found with the girl include a Mother of Pearl ring with the letters “A L” scratched into the surface and coins dated 1970. A decomposed map of Northern California camping facilities was found in her right rear pocket.

If you have any idea who the girl is, you are urged to call the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office at 1-541-474-5123, the Oregon State Medical Examiner 1-971-673-8300, or the The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

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