Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Jane Doe

Sometimes the ideals and convenience of small town living can clash with big city values. Such is the case in the Fond du Lac County Sheriff Department’s effort to learn the identity of a young woman whose body was discovered by deer hunters last November.

The body was badly decomposed and with the help of several experts and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children a digital facial reconstruction was put together. You can see the photo at left. At a press conference this week Sheriff Mick Fink stressed to the media the need to get the photo out as far as possible in the hopes that someone might recognize the woman.

He says the case is cold and gets colder every day. However if they are able to identify her they can take the next step in investigating how and why she died. It’s estimated her body was left in a creek in the woods for 30 to 90 days before hunters found it last November 23rd.

After the press conference the Sheriff told me they are worried that the woman comes from a larger city where it’s not unusual for someone to go missing. Here in Fond du Lac County the discovery of a Jane Doe is unusual and treated as such. After all we care about things like that.

I have to wonder if the age of Jane Doe also works against efforts to identify her. It’s estimated she was 15 to 21 years of age. People are so much more compassionate when it’s a young child you are talking about. If she was a teen or older there may be a tendency to write her off as a runaway. Given the circumstances of her death, that does not seem to be the case for Jane Doe.

Hoping to use any tool available to them to discover Jane Doe’s identity, the Sheriff’s Department also will have a Jane Doe page on Facebook or MySpace. You can get more information about her at the Sheriff's website.

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