OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) The Opelika community was left reeling on January 28, 2012, when tiny skeletal remains were discovered at the Brookhaven Trailer Park off Hurst Street. The remains were determined to be a young black female between the ages of four and seven. An autopsy revealed more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt force trauma, evidence of healing, and malnourishment. The Child’s death was determined to be a homicide, believed to have occurred between the summer of 2010 and 2011.

For the next decade, the Opelika Police Department dedicated themselves to uncovering the truth, returning a name to the little girl, and justice for those who had killed her. Opelika Police had attempted to develop a DNA profile for Jane Doe however, but were unsuccessful due to the condition of the remains. Fortunately, with advancements in DNA testing in January of 2022, DNA was further extracted for genealogy testing. Othram Labs successfully extracted DNA from the scalp and Astrea Labs from the hair. A comprehensive genealogical profile was built. Once uploaded, an experienced genealogist who works closely with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children was assigned the case. Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter with Firebird Forensics Group used the genealogical profile to identify Baby Jane Doe’s relatives and develop investigative leads.

Timeline of Events: Opelika’s Baby Jane Doe identified as Amore Wiggins 

  • January 1, 2006: Amore Wiggins born in Virginia to mother Ms. Sherry Wiggins  
  • 2009: Amore’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff and wife Ruth obtain legal, physical custody
  • 2009-2022: Sherry Wiggins pays child support to Vickerstaff for Amore. Visitations suddenly stop and Wiggins goes to court trying to regain custody of Amore 
  • January 28, 2012: Opelika Baby Jane Doe case born. Tiny skull, remains found at Brookhaven Trailer Park in Opelika, Alabama
  • 2012: Remains sent to FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va for examination
  • Remains are black female between 4-7 years of age
  • Autopsy reveals more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt force trauma, evidence of healing, and malnourishment
  • Death determined a homicide, believed to have occurred between summer of 2010 to 2011
  • 2012-2022: Police review 15,000 case files and investigate thousands of tips
  • 2016: Pics surface of girl taken at Opelika’s Greater Peace Baptist Church Bible School around 2011. Police believe girl may be Baby Jane Doe
  • January 2022: DNA extracted from remains for genealogy testing
  • October 2022: Jane Doe’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff Jr, identified. Vickerstaff was born and raised in Opelika, Alabama. Police say he had family, friends who lived near remains location. During U.S Navy career, he resided in Norfolk, Va., Honolulu, Hawaii and Jacksonville, Fla.
  • December 2022: Opelika Detectives notify Vickerstaff Jr of his daughter’s death and interview him and wife Ruth Vickerstaff. Couple does not provide information on identity of Jane Doe
  • December 2022: Amore Wiggins identified as Baby Jane Doe. Detectives meet with Sherry Wiggins, DNA confirms she is biological mother. Wiggins provides docs showing Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff obtained legal and physical custody in 2009
  • December 2022: Detectives reach out to school boards, pediatric clinics in several states and determine Amore was never enrolled in school nor reported as missing 
  • January 1, 2023: Amore Wiggins would have celebrated her 17th birthday  
  • January 17, 2023: Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff arrested in Jacksonville, Fla. Lamar charged with Felony Murder. Ruth arrested for Failure to Report a Missing Child under *Caylee’s Law

The Vickerstaff’s waived extradition and are in the process of being transported to the Opelika Police Department where they will be booked into the Lee County Detention Center and have their first court appearance in front of a Lee County Judge. A timeline of those events not released yet.

The case remains under investigation, and detectives need public’s assistance gathering additional details regarding the Vickerstaff’s relationship with Amore Wiggins and her time spent in Opelika, Alabama or other states. Please call Opelika Police Department Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. 

Opelika Police would like to thank Amore’s mother Ms. Sherry Wiggins, NCMEC, Dr. Barbara Rae Venter with Firebird Forensics Group, Othram Labs, Astrea Labs, FBI, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Jacksonville Sheriff’s, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Baltimore Police for assistance in this case.

*Caylee’s Law: Passed in several states, making it a felony for a parent or legal guardian to not report a child is missing in cases where the parent knew or should have known child was possibly in danger. Laws introduced after Casey Anthony did not reporting her three-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony missing for 31 days.