UPDATE MAY 25, 2021: she has been identified by DNA and her name is Karen Kaye Knippers, more here.
This Pulaski County Jane Doe was found at 847am on May 25, 1981 near Dixon, in Pulaski County, Missouri. She was near Hwy MM at the low water crossing. She had been dead for about four to five hours.
Her case appeared in the NamUs database on May 02, 2012 with case number 120229902. As we now have her DNA, we can exclude these missing women: Judie Munguia, born in 1948 from Texas and Betty Redmond, born in 1951 from Maryland.
The victim’s age range is between 25-40. She is approx. 30 years old. Race and ethnicity determinations were inconclusive. She is either White, Native American, or Hispanic. Her weight at autopsy was 130 lbs. and her height was 63 inches (roughly 5.25 feet). Her body was found intact with a recognizable face.
On the sketch above (click to enlarge), she is shown with her eyes open. She was beaten on her head, strangled, and dumped in shallow water. This woman had a slightly dark complexion with black long hair, high cheekbones, and hazel brown eyes. Her fingerprints, dental information, and DNA are available.
Her clothes were:
- a dark blue, long-sleeved blouse with white pinstripes, brand name ”Try 1”
- blue jeans, brand name” In Gear”
- blue bikini panties (no brand listed)
- white bra with “Jubel” or “Julie” written inside in magic marker (no brand listed)
From the autopsy we learned that she was well nourished. She had no scars, tattoos, or other bodily marks. I could not find whether she had ever given birth (pelvic structure) or whether she had surgeries. I would like to know her stomach content to see if there is anything that could firm up the timeline such as partially digested foods.
What was unusual for her age was that she had a full upper dental plate. In other words, she wore dentures. She also had dental work done on her lower teeth. I am not sure whether we can trace dentures to a manufacturer or a dentist but it would be worth exploring.
She was well nourished and as she had extensive dental work done, she was not indigent. I base this too on her clothes. She was dressed color-coordinated and stylish. Try 1 is a European clothing brand. If I recall correctly it was British but no longer in business. “In Gear” is a clothing brand that was established in the 1990s. There was a clothing brand called “InGear” in the 80s that sold clothes in department stores such as Sears. It could be that they later became “In Gear.” I wish we could see the pictures of the clothes.
Some say the writing in the bra could show that at some point the victim lived in a situation where people did laundry together. If so, we should have seen the same labelling in her panties. I have not seen any information about a label in the panties.
There is of course always the possibility that she borrowed the bra from a friend and that the writing doesn’t say anything about our Jane Doe.
About the writing in the bra (click picture to enlarge) it could be:
- I see a “W” in the middle making the word “Jewel” possible if the last mark is an “L” and not an exclamation mark
- If I look hard I see the Greek capital letter Psi
- If I look even longer I see the Cyrillic letter Sha
- If I take a fast look I see “Juhel”
Online the dominating reading is either “Juliel” or “Julie.” If you see anything else, please let me know.
The victim was found with a pair of pantyhose wrapped around her neck. Were those hers? What brand? If they were hers, she wore them underneath jeans which is usually done for warmth despite the fact that it is uncomfortable as fabrics rubs and make each layer turn.
I checked the weather for the area on the same date. The temperatures were in the lower 70s. It seems a little warm to wear pantyhose underneath jeans. The only other reason for pantyhose underneath jeans I can think of is that she wore shoes without socks such as ballerina’s (or flats) of high heels (or pumps). You do not wear those with socks.
One last remark about the pantyhose found around her neck. It is still possible that it belonged to someone other than the victim. And, if preserved that pantyhose should be checked with the M-Vac for touch DNA. Thinking about her outfit and knowing that she had dental work done, I am positive this woman took good care of herself.
The victim didn’t show obvious signs of sexual assault but the autopsy showed mild trauma to the vaginal walls. Also, her clothes seemed put on hurriedly. She could have done this herself but maybe it was someone else. Her jeans pockets were pulled out as if someone was emptying them making sure they didn’t miss anything. Her panties were bunched up (no brand name found), she had no socks on (so the pantyhose could have been hers), no shoes were found, no jewelry on her body, and no papers to identify her.
We do not know whether she was murdered where she was found. Her body was found in a remote area used by young people to party.
The victim was exhumed in May 2015. Both mitochondrial DNA and STR-DNA (Short Term Repeats) were retrieved by the University of North Texas Forensic Sciences Department. Her DNA profile was added to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and the FBI’s national data base. So far, no matches.
If you recognize our Pulaski County Jane Doe, please email Pulaski County Detective Doug Renno at [email protected], text/call him at (573) 855-1069 or contact the tip line (573) 774-7948.
Rest in peace, dear Pulaski County Jane Doe.