OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Opelika police releasing new information on the murder of Baby Jane Doe as they continue their decades-long quest to identify the child and bring her killer to justice.
On Jan. 28, 2012, the remains of a young black girl between 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 the child’s left eye was scarred and blind. Police believe she was abused and neglected before her murder.
The investigation recently led detectives to outside Alabama and other states Baby Jane Doe may have lived.
“We’ve had some investigative leads, and we have to figure it out and find out if she is from North Carolina or Virginia. That’s what we are doing and we need any help the public knows,” said Captain Jonathan Clifton.
Families in Norfolk and Chesapeake, Virginia, and Northampton, North Carolina are asked to look at reconstruction images, and pictures of a little girl at Greater Peace Church in Opelika taken in 2011. The girl in the photos is believed to be Jane Doe when she was alive.
Shortly after her body was found, police released a clay facial reconstruction of what she may have looked like before she was killed. The reconstruction prompted members of the Greater Peace Community Church in Opelika to come forward, claiming they had seen the child before but didn’t know her name or her family. Police say they sifted through Sunday school photos taken during 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 a forensic artist at NCMEC with help from a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution. An updated sketch was created and released in 2021.
“It has 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.
Opelika police will not stop until they can give justice and a name to Baby Jane Doe.
It’s estimated the child died between 2010 and 2011 with a focus on the Summer or Fall of 2011. She is estimated to be 4-7 years old and had medium-length black hair styled in corn rolls. Her height, weight, and eye color cannot be determined. An anthropological assessment of her bones suggests she had likely been abused and malnourished in life. Chemical isotope testing on her bones suggests she was born and raised in Alabama or one of the surrounding southern states and the investigation has revealed she possibly had ties to the Orlando, Florida area.