New technology allows Jefferson County to open nearly 30-year-old cold case

Advancements in identification technology have opened an investigation into a nearly 30-year-old murder case, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday afternoon.

On Jan. 27, 1993, a decapitated head of a presumed white female was discovered within a wooded roadway inside Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. Officers believed the victim — known as the “Ina Jane Doe” — was to have been between 30 and 50 years old at the time of her death. It is also suspected that she had died two or three days before the discovery.

The Jane Doe reportedly had shoulder-length reddish hair, a pin-shaped mole in her left ear and had extensive dental work completed, including a silver point filling and possibly had worn braces at some point. Other theories include a skeletal asymmetry that may have been visible in her facial features.

According to the Illinois State Police files, previous analysis from the University of Illinois Anthropology Department had indicated that there were “unusual skeletal characteristics of the skull” and that the victim may have suffered from “wryneck,” a condition that causes stress on the muscles responsible for maintaining upright head posture.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the office has investigated the murder and worked diligently for an identity “for nearly three decades.” New avenues for identification have been pursued, such as an anthropological re-analysis from the University of New Hampshire Assistant Professor Dr. Amy Michael, DNA extraction and sequencing by a lab and further forensic genetic genealogy.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also release “new forensic art” that had been prepared by Carl Koppelman to upgrade images in hopes of leading to a positive identification.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released this photo in hopes of identifying a cold-case murder from 1993. A decapitated head was found in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, and this photo created by Carl Koppelman is a rendering of what the woman looked like before she was killed

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective Bobby Wallace at Sheriff’s Office at (618) 244-8004 or Crimestoppers at (618) 242-TIPS (8477).

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