Spokane County Jane Doe

Jane Doe, Spokane
Unsolved Murder

On June 20, 1984, a woman’s remains were found on the south side bank of the Spokane River. It was a young woman who had been murdered. She has yet to be identified.

Authorities in Spokane, Washington initially figured the woman was between 16 and 30 years of age, but a 1998 forensic report pegged her age as 25 to 35.

The woman was white and probably blonde, maybe around 130 pounds and 5-and-a-half feet tall. On her left kneecap she had a 1-and-a-half inch oval scar. On her left arm she had a 3-and-a-half inch scar. She also had two moles on the front of her neck.

This unfortunate woman had a spina bifida occulta, which is a mild and probably asymptomatic form of spina bifida which would have shown no hernial protrusion of the spinal cord. It doesn’t sound to me like it had any impact upon her lifestyle — she wasn’t paralyzed or disabled because of it.

Jane Doe sketchThe 1998 forensic report indicates that the woman had been murdered. She had suffered a blunt force trauma that fractured her mid face and bottom jaw. This could have been the result of one single blow that caused her face to smack into a hard surface.

The woman also suffered sharp force trauma on the right side of her head and neck. Those injuries would have resulted from chop-type blows from her assailant.

Additionally the poor woman suffered sharp force trauma that severed the bones of her neck.

All of these injuries were inflicted at the time of death. Sounds to me like someone went postal on the poor woman. Whoever the killer was, he/she was lucky. Identifying the murderer is infinitely more difficult if the victim remains unidentified.

Skull 489The victim’s remains were left almost a mile west of the T.J. Menach Bridge on the Spokane River. There were no items of clothing or jewelry with her.

The police have tried to put a face to the Jane Doe, and I’m not particularly satisfied with their efforts. The first sketch has a tiny bottom jaw, whereas the actual mandible is quite prominent and broad. This face does not fit the skull.

The second sketch is a big improvement. The face does fit the skull much better. I’m not sure why the artist made the eyebrows so heavy or the lips so puffy — it’s all guesswork anyway. I think the sketch makes the woman look much older than she was. The artist gives a suggestion of a gap between the front teeth. Possibly that is correct, but since the skull is missing the front teeth I can’t say for sure.

The 3-D reconstruction doesn’t look particularly realistic. I think the chin is too long and pointy, as is the nose. That is, of course, my opinion.

Facial reconstruction 489I took it upon myself to create a face for Jane Doe 489. I gave her blonde hair but didn’t get carried away with a hairstyle. For all I know she had long hair. I didn’t put the 2 moles on her neck because the report didn’t specify their exact location.

I hope this poor woman is finally claimed by her loved ones. It’s been 30 years, much too long for her to be away from family and friends.

If anyone has any idea who this Jane Doe is please contact the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office 509-477-2296. The case manager listed is Elizabeth Nelson. Please refer to ME/C Case Number: 84-0002, or NamUS UP #489.

If anyone has any idea who her killer is, please contact the police in Spokane County.

And, as promised, here is my version of the unidentified woman.

Jane Doe 489 face

IdentifyUs.org entry

4 Responses to Spokane County Jane Doe

  1. BENGALPUSS says:

    Poor woman, your image of her cleo, is really good, you’ve made her look human, something the other pictures don’t achieve. I she is identified one day.

  2. moodymagic says:

    This looks like a person who could be identified. Great job Cleo. I hope they identify her.

  3. bulldoggy says:

    I can’t figure out how the police sketches can be so completely different. They are nothing alike yet they base them on the same skull. I’m not surprised she hasn’t been identified if people were looking at those pictures. She’s either an elfin teenager or a manly old woman, and I doubt the victim was either. Good job Cleo.

  4. 2cute says:

    Good job Cleo. The police sketches make her look like a man.

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