Opelika investigators hope sharper images turn focus on “Baby Jane Doe” killer

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OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Enhanced photo’s taken of a disfigured girl at an Opelika Vacation Bible School could be the next step in identifying Opelika’s Baby Jane Doe and uncovering her killer or killers.

“This is the most heinous case in my 20 years, where a child was abused and neglected and then dumped. It’s very emotional for all of us detectives,” shared Opelika Police Captain Jonathan Clifton.

The Baby Jane Doe case was born in January of 2012 when a small skull was found behind a mobile home off Hurst Street in Opelika. Eight years later, Baby Jane has settled into the hearts of the community and Opelika investigators.

“Absolutely. It’s a case that sticks with you, and what we want more than anything is to put a name with that face,” shared Oopelika Captain Shane Healey.

Opelika police are now releasing digitally enhanced photos of a little girl believed to be Baby Jane Doe. These photographs were first released to the media several years ago in 2016. The images are of a child at Opelika’s Greater Peace Baptist Church Vacation Bible School taken around 2011. The girl in the photos has not been identified and police believe she is Jane Doe. Investigators are confident someone in east Alabama knows who the child is and what happened to her.

“They have since been enhanced to bring out a clearer image of the little girl. The Bible School teacher who first brought them to the police believe the enhanced images depict a better likeness to the real little girl,” said Captain Shane Healey.

Forensic testing revealed baby Jane Doe suffered long-term physical abuse at the hands of her killer, leaving her left eye blind and scarred until she was ultimately murdered between 2010 and 2012 when she was three to seven years old.

“She was badly abused and lived a tough life, and there is nothing fair about what she had to go through at all. We hope we can give her a small amount of justice if we can find out her name,” said Healey.

An anthropological assessment of Baby Jane Doe’s bones suggested she was abused and malnourished prior to her death and placed her time of death between 2010 and 2012. The Opelika Police Department remains steadfast in its efforts to identify the child and bring her killer or killers to justice.

There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to Baby Jane Doe’s name and arrest of her killer. The reward money is from the Alabama Governor’s Office, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office.

“With the public’s help, we hope to be able to give this little girl a name and solve the mystery of what happened to her,” shared Shane Healey.

Police say any tip, no matter how small, may lead to Baby Jane’s real name and justice. Again, there is a $20,000 Reward in the case. If you have any information on the case, you are urged to call the Opelika Police Department’s Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. You may remain anonymous.

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