The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) needs help with a 1972 cold case. It involves the remains of a woman found July 19, 1972. The Hernando County Jane Doe 1972 was near High Corner Road and Cortez Boulevard (State Road 50) in Brooksville.
“The replica skull was created from scans of the original at USF’s vision center. Using the recreated skull, a forensics team at USF’s Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology and Applied Science (IFAAS) created a facial reconstruction of the woman.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as well as the Florida Sheriff’s Association collaborated in this process. The team worked on facial reconstructions for a total of 7 adults and 2 juveniles using this method.”
Range of identifiers:
- between 25 to 40 years old
- 5′ 0″ – 5′ 1″ tall
- 125-145 lbs.
- short brown hair (roughly 6″)
- only six upper and six lower teeth
- her body was found wrapped in a bedspread with a distinctive pattern possibly a “pineapple damask” print
- the bedspread had three square and one rounded corner
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office released the images you see here.
Cause of death
After a short web search I found that the cause of death was strangulation. I have not found whether this was manual or strangulation by object. Officials said the Hernando County Jane Doe 1972 had been in the woods for about four days before she was found.
Since they preserved the bed spread it should be examined for touch DNA with the M-Vac. Touch DNA can tell us something about the person(s) who handled the blanket. Dust, pollen and dirt tell us where the blanket has been. If there are discrepancies with the soil where this woman was found we have another angle to this case.
From the Hernando Sun: the woman wore a white bra and white, bikini-style underwear. I do not know whether any other clothes were found in the area. If her underwear was bikini-style then all the knots should be examined for touch DNA as well.
DNA information and lead
In June 2015, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the USF Forensic Anthropology Laboratory and District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office exhumed her body for DNA testing, anthropological assessment, and the facial reconstruction. The specialists determined she had lived in the US for at least 5-10 years before her murder and spent a significant amount of time in Florida.
There was also a very important lead in the case. From WFLA: “A couple of days prior to the body being found a light-colored 61-62 Ford Falcon was seen driving into the woods with three people in the car. When it drove back out, there were only two people in it.”