CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. -- New forensic isotope testing has revealed new information about a 1971 cold case that could help identify a young woman who was found dead more than 45 years ago.
In August 1971, the unidentified woman's remains were found scattered near a campsite in a wooded area off of Redwood Highway close to the Oregon-California border. Investigators said she had auburn or brown hair and was believed to be between 14 and 25 years old.
When the body was found, she was wearing a pink and beige waist-length coat, a long-sleeved, tan turtleneck top with a neckline zipper, Wrangler jeans (size misses 13-14 slim), and square-toed brown leather shoes with gold buckles. She also had a Mother of Pearl ring that had the letters "A" and "L" scratched into the surface as well as coins dated 1970.
On Tuesday, the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children unveiled new results from forensic isotope testing that revealed the woman, referred to as Jane "Annie" Doe, grew up in the northeast corner of the United States. She eventually moved west to the Great Lakes and then further west to Oregon and Washington State.
Nici Vance, a forensic anthropologist for Oregon State Police, explained the new forensics that led to the discovery of the woman's origin.
"We're talking about hair, bone and teeth. Those stable isotopes will develop in someone's body based on food intake and water intake in the geographic location in which you live," Vance said. "Your signature in the isotope compounds in your body give us an indication of where you grew up, where you recently have been and potentially where you were very, very recently. That stable isotope signature will show us a geographic location, an area of origin."
A new facial reconstruction image was completed by a NCMEC forensic artist to approximate her appearance at the time of her death.
"We are asking people everywhere to really look at this image, see if you recognize her," said NCMEC Senior Forensic Case Specialist Ashley Rodriguez.
Anyone with information on this cold case should call 1-800-843-5678, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office at 541-474-5123 or the Oregon State Medical Examiner at 1-971-673-8300.
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