The Headless Girl Nobody Cares About! (Saint Louis Missouri 1988) Updated!

Content warning this case involves the death of a child, with a graphic description. There are graphic photos in the sources. There is a fleeting mention of racism. Your health comes first, so please take care!
This is the second edition of this case write-up.

 A special thank you to Edrar 'BirdSosa! 

He has gone above and beyond to tell Hope's story. He also trusted and encouraged my research, and with great privilege, I helped in a small part of his documentary! 


Please support the documentary by watching and sharing. The documentary is available on Amazon Prime and many other places! Because of Sosa's work, Hope will be reunited with her actual name in the future. 


*Any statements in my write-up without a source link have come from the documentary, OR it is something I learned while working on it. 

Content Creators! 

Please make updated content about Hope. People do not know about her; if they do, they might only know old information. The case is old, so the years + complications have turned it into a game of "telephone." 

Thank you for your continued support! My written work is always free to use because helping cases is my primary goal. Therefore, credit is always lovely but not necessary. The best way to support me and the cases is to share! If you would like to send a coffee, I have a cash app at cash.app/$WeathersRabbits, or if you want to follow my social media, here is my link: https://linktr.ee/weathersrabbits

Santa Muerte, nuestra bella dama, intercedió por "Hope" Jane Doe 1983 de Saint Louis, Missouri. Adoptamos a Hope como nuestra hija, y como su familia actual, rezamos para que ayuden a restaurar su nombre y brinden justicia para que pueda descansar en paz. Ofrezco nuestras lágrimas y devoción por tu ayuda e intercesión. Amén

This case has gained notoriety for seemingly being simple to solve. However, it is one of the most tangled and confusing murders to date. The passage of time has only increased the difficulty, but at first, even the lead detectives thought it would be a quick solution.

"Back then, I thought this would be an easy case to crack," recalled Burgoon, one of the city's first homicide detectives at the scene. "We'd find out who the girl was, and that would lead us to the killer." 


The Story 

This version is the most commonly told story about how Precious Doe was found: On a cold day on February 28, 1983, in St. Louis, Missouri. Two men, often described as looters, enter an abandoned Victorian home (at one point renovated into an apartment) at 5635 Clemens Avenue in the City's West End Cabanne neighborhood at about 3:30 PM. One of the men flickered a light (possibly a cigarette lighter), and the illumination highlighted the headless body of the child Jane Doe. They thought she was a mannequin at first but soon got the police.



The public has never been told much else about who discovered the body, but the most recent documentary explains that the two who found her were young African-American teens at the time. It is said this discovery negatively impacted them. So the shrouded details on the actual discovery account are probably because people wanted to protect the young teens. Law enforcement officials ruled out these two boys. (I believe it is implied they were ruled out through DNA) 

Once the law enforcement arrived, they thought she was a discarded prostitute, but they saw she was only a child after turning her over. 

Leroy Adkins was the newly appointed first black commander of the homicide division. Adkins, whose heart was with his community, wanted to bring closure to Precious Doe's case. It was essential to stop the killer or killers, get justice for Precious Doe, and show Saint Louis, Missouri's black community that law enforcement was on their side. 

Unfortunately, the case thwarts being solved to this day, and it has become an even more complicated enigma with time. 

I invite you to join the project to give our Precious Doe her name back. Also, join the group of people fighting to find out who did this to a baby. It starts by learning the details of her last days on earth and then, from there, sharing the story.  



Documentary “Our Precious Hope” and “Our Precious Hope Revisited

Timeline Of Events 

February 20th-28th, 1983 (Estimated) 

In the days leading up to the discovery of the body, residents near the abandoned apartments reported that nothing seemed wrong. 


February 23rd-24th, 1983 (Estimated)

Our Precious Doe is killed during this time frame at an unknown location different than where her body was placed. 


February 28, 1983, In St. Louis, Missouri (Monday)

On the day Precious Doe was discovered, the weather for the day was fair and mild, according to the reports in the local newspaper. The lows were in the '30s, and the highs were 50's. It was possible to have some rain as well. Detective Burgoon had said it was not cold for the usual weather. Most stories about this day will say that the day was very cold, but it seems that was an assumption or generalization. 


3:31 Timestamp https://youtu.be/8okFxU6pkko 

(Some of these Youtube links were removed as the documentary was re-made and released. The information is now found in the documentary.) 

The discovery of Precious Doe's body happens before noon. The simplified account was that two male rummagers found her body. They were in the dark basement, searching the abandoned property for a bit of metal or a pipe. There are various reasons why they needed that metal, but most accounts say it was to fix their car or prop up the hood. They first searched the upstairs and then went into the basement.


The actual version is more straightforward than this story. Two African-American teen boys who lived nearby at 5579 Clemmens discovered her body. They lived only one minute walk from their home to the backdoor of the abandoned apartments. The boys didn't own a car but had a go-cart. Their names were Thompson and Harris, and on that day, because of the unusually warm weather, family and friends began to gather for a barbeque. The two left the gathering together and returned to their family to tell them all they had found a body. 

According to a family member of Thompson who was describing the discovery on his behalf, a group of the gathering had seen the body. They did not believe the boys when they said they found a body. So, a group of six to ten people went to see it. 

The family member of Thompson described how nobody realized the body was missing her head. They dusted off the body because it had been covered in leaves. The discovery frightened them, and they called the police. However, some group members separated and did not speak with the police. 

Thompson has passed away, which is why this family member gave the account on their behalf for the documentary. 

Sgt. Brian McGlynn St. Louis Police Department Sgt. Homicide Detective and a current officer investigating the case were interviewed in the "Our Precious Hope" Documentary in 2022. They had not heard this version of the story before but were not surprised. 

According to McAllister, a child who was on scene that day while the crowds waited outside heard there was a body discovered. However, within minutes of the law enforcement investigation, they started to hear through the crowds that the body was a child. 

Shortly Afternoon 

Detective Joseph Burgoon (Homicide) gets a phone call at his office that the police needed them on the scene. Burgoon calls the police "uniformed officers." Police worked from the 7th District Police Station. Detectives worked from Headquarters downtown at 1200 Clark Avenue. 



1:30-2:00 PM 

Every member of the homicide responds to the call of a suspicious death. 

They arrive at the scene after the police/uniformed officers. Uniformed officers catch the homicide unit up on the information that they have

The uniformed officers told Burgoon about the two men looking for a pipe/metal story. In Burgoon's interview, he said he was told that their car broke down or stalled and that their timing chain broke. The men hoped to find a bar to prop open the hood of their car to work on it. 


3:30 PM 

This was when most stories and newspapers reported that the two men had found the body. However, this is false. Though the account persists that this is the time and even Burgoon sometimes says 3:00 PM, it seems more likely that this was around when the newspapers started hearing about the story. The sheer amount of years between then and now only cement certain things like this as fact. 

Burgoon mentions 3:00 PM in the TV show Sightings, but his account in “Our Precious Hope” makes this unlikely. 

Evening (Estimated)

Burgoon describes the investigative process in a 2021 interview with the "Our Precious Hope" documentary. The first thing they did was interview people. This had to be done right away so that no detail was missed. The first to be interviewed were the two teen boys. They had remained on the scene. 

Then they expanded the interviews to people in the surrounding occupied buildings. This happened on the same day that she was found. Police went up to Cabanne Courts (Expanded to Vernon and Maple) and talked with the people there. They went up to Goodfellow as well. They used legal pads to write notes as they talked with people. 

Investigators called in help from the metropolitan sewer district to help look in the sewers. 

Law enforcement canvassed the neighborhood to obtain the victim's identity quickly. But, first, they had to set up floodlights to illuminate and work. 


Hours after the discovery, law enforcement sent out all-points bulletins nationwide


Many of these happened by overlapping and going on at the same time. Teams would come in and do different parts of the investigation. For example, crime scene investigators would do all the measuring. The evidence technicians would photograph everything. Crime scene detectives would do their process and make necessary arrests, but open cases like this would mean day watch investigators would come the next day, and it would be their case. The other team would take the next call and move on. These were the ones who did the initial preliminary stuff, and then the Homicide Unit would do all the follow-up work. However, in this case, they had to all work in tandem because, according to Burgoon's account, all members of homicide were called in, and uniformed police, medical examiner, and investigators for juvenile officers were there. Captain Bill Relling (In charge of Juvenile). Sgt. Brian McGlynn said there were at least 100 police, the residents from the nearby apartments, and the media. Det. Burgoon explained that each team of detectives had different assignments; for example, the Juvenile department was working on the missings at the time. 

Despite so many people, they seemed cautious not to disturb the scene. Burgoon tells us that he was not allowed in the room with the body. However, he did see her from farther away. "Pretty much" the only ones allowed in the room were retired homicide detective Stan Stokowski working at the medical examiner's office, and detective Herb Riley. Burgoon went back to a different time to study the crime scene. 

When the interviews and searches started, they went to the medical examiner's office for more details about the body. That evening, they had a forensic anthropologist examine Our Precious Doe. 

Adkins had at least 15 officers and detectives to work on the case when it was new.


One resident, a child at the time, said that the neighborhood kids did not know her; they had accounted for themselves. 


March 01, 1983 (Tuesday) 8:30 AM 

An autopsy is scheduled for this day by Dr. Mary E. Case. They hoped to find the cause of death and if any sexual assault had occurred. Burgoon tells us the autopsy had happened in the morning. 

The local paper, "The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch," runs the first story about Precious Doe. Unfortunately, it was not front-page news, but it does have some crime scene photographs. The writer was Bill McClellan. At the start, they thought the case would be easy to solve, and so professionals on the scene all gave their different opinions and thoughts on the case.  

Sgt. Lloyd Huggans of the Juvenile Division remarks, "It's strange, but we haven't had a single phone call yet from anyone reporting a little girl missing." Huggans explained that 20 children were missing from the St. Louis area, but none of them matched the description of the body. 

The finding caused panic among the area residents, especially those with small children. The police attempted to calm people. "We want people to try to remain as calm as possible," Sgt. Herb Riley said. Brenda Martin, 23, who lived next to the abandoned building, said that nothing seemed wrong until LE arrived on the scene. 


Captain Leroy Adkins from Homicide announces that law enforcement was unaware of any missing black children from the metropolitan area. https://www.newspapers.com/image/140740110

The professionals that worked the crime scene remarked on how horrible it was. "Just when you think you have seen about everything, you see something like this," said Stanley Sztukowski, former homicide detective of 20 years and now medical examiner investigator. 

The first newspaper story described Doe as ten years old, naked from the waist down, wearing a yellow V-neck sweater. Her hands were tied behind her back with a length of jump rope. *The paper says jump rope, but that is not what was used. 

Before an autopsy, the detectives noted that her head appeared to have been cut off cleanly.*Additional and corrected information later 

Officers also noted the lack of blood on the scene and quickly concluded that Doe was killed elsewhere and placed there. "It doesn't look like she was there for long." one detective said. "The body seems well preserved, but it was cold down there. It was too cold even for rats." https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16262370/decapitated-body-of-girl-found-in/

However, in a story posted for the same day, they updated their description of Doe just a little. Doe was now believed to be between 8 and 11 years old. Police said she had been dead for at least two days. They also said that they thought her head was severed cleanly with a large knife. 


Pictures in the paper indicate that canvassing the area around the crime scene continues today. Police Officers Jerry Thomas and Frank Booker are seen looking through a dumpster for clues in the paper. 


George Wayne Bender, homicide detective, and Burgoon were assigned the case. They had just solved another case, "The Decker Case," that was complicated. Adkins wanted the case solved quickly. Bender and Burgoon were partners in the Homicide Unit. Sgt. Herb Riley, who had also worked on "The Decker Case," was now working in the Medical Examiner's Office and was a retired detective at the time. 



Sgt. McGlylnn had told hundreds of officers were working this case on the day of discovery and the following days. This also included the entire Juvenile Division working on the case. 

March 02, 1983 

The paper runs another story; it is not on the front page. 

Police are still trying to find the girl's identity and missing head. They still searched the 16-block area around the abandoned building where her body was found. They reportedly even canvassed sewers and trash cans.

Police canvassed schools, vacant buildings, sewers, and trash cans for clues. Over 100 officers were out on the search. 

Missing person reports in the St. Louis area were checked, and messages were wired to law enforcement departments throughout Missouri and Illinois. 


Missing children reports were reviewed from the area and Metro East. However, no reports of children from the age group had been reported missing. School attendance records were reviewed. 


Twenty children were listed in St. Louis as missing, but none of them matched Doe's description. 


Adkins, the first black man in his job position, appeals specifically to black parents. He was asking them to double-check their children's whereabouts. Adkins contemplates why nobody has come forward yet and speculates with the press that maybe they did not realize she was missing yet. Adkins then appeals to the public to think about children they have not seen in about a week. Finally, anyone with info was asked to contact the homicide department directly. 



The autopsy report is back, but the paper made no official announcement. However, the report showed that Doe had been a victim of sexual assault and had only been dead two to three days before being found. They also updated the rope used, height, weight, and age range. 


March 05, 1983 (Saturday) 4:00 PM

The Association Of Community Organizations For Reform Now (ACORN) protests outside the apartment building. They want safety from the abandoned buildings and want them torn down or boarded up. Grant Williams was on staff, and organizer for ACORN said 40 people showed up for the protest. The building was now boarded on the first floor, but access to the second was still available on the rear. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Community_Organizations_for_Reform_No


March 06, 1983 (Sunday) (Afternoon) 

Doe had a Memorial Service at New Mount Gideon West Baptist Church that 60 people attended. Rev.Tommie Ringo presided over the service. 725 Goodfellow Boulevard. According to Myrtle Hartfield of Skinker-Page-Union-Delmar (SPUD), this Memorial helped encourage those working on the vacant home problem.


Police said they had no leads, but tips were still being checked. 


March 07, 1983 (Monday) 

People protesting the safety issues of the abandoned homes in the area are reported in the news by the local paper. The paper reports that 5635 Clemens was not boarded up when Doe was found.


However, in a 2021 interview, Burgoon said the building had been boarded. Later, he clarified that the front door was boarded up, but the back entry was not. 

Retired Gang Detective Tyrone Dennis of the Atlanta Police Department, who grew up in St. Louis, Mo, in the area of Hope's body discovery, gives insight for the documentary. An informant wanted to provide information about the case, but law enforcement initially ignored him as non-relevant information. The informant then reached out to several jurisdictions until he connected with C.O.R.E. 

Congress Of Racial Equality(CORE) meets with a mystery man who promised to lead investigators to the killing spot and where the head was. "He was a nut," said Adkins. "We checked out the information, and it just was not any good," Eugene Fowler, Director of CORE Missouri, promised to launch its investigation if the police did not use the information within thirty days. According to the press interviews with CORE leaders and Police Commissioner Robert Wintersmith, this is the complete account of the situation. 

The man called the homicide division on Monday morning and said he had information. So Adkins met with the man in Clayton. Then the man demanded 900.00 immediately, but Adkins told him that even though there was a reward, he wanted information first. So then the man said he sent it to Adkins. 

The man called CORE and promised photos and tapes of the killing. Detectives disguised as investigators for CORE lawyers joined the meeting with CORE and the man. The man again asked for 900.00, but as they prepared to let him leave, he accused the detectives of being police. They identified themselves and took the man in for an interview. The man had a prior conviction of stealing by deceit. Once the detectives were sure the man was a fraud, they released him. 

The man spent Monday night with the CORE at Chase-Park Plaza Hotel. The CORE officials included Fowler, national director Roy Innis, and regional director Solomon Rooks. They had a "marathon interview" with the man. They gave him 600.00 and promised 300.00 more if the info was correct



March 08, 1983 (Morning) (Tuesday) 

The CORE officials contacted lawyer Christopher Smith who then directed them to Police Commissioner Wintersmith because the informant refused to talk with police but wanted someone in charge. Wintersmith interviewed the man for seven hours, and then Wintersmith contacted a high-rank police official at police headquarters. 

11:00 PM Wintersmith went with Adkins and a second officer to Waterloo. There was supposed to be a hanging tree there. "Zlich," said a homicide detective after returning at 3:00 AM on Wednesday. "All it was was cold." 


March 09, 1983 (Wednesday) 7:30 PM 

Skinker-Page-Union-Delmar (SPUD) organize at New Mount Gideon West Baptist Church of 725 Goodfellow Boulevard. to discuss the problem of vacant homes with access from the street with 30 attendees. According to Myrtle Hartfield of SPUD, Doe's Memorial helped courage those working on the vacant home problem. SPUD worked on their project one year prior with the Land Reutilization Authority.



Police searched the Waterloo tree location a second time, but there was nothing, and the informant took the story back. On tape, he said he swindled CORE. Later the man contacted CORE and told them he lied to the police about lying to CORE. Fowler said they believed him


March 11, 1983 (Friday) 

Friday, the informant says he felt pressure from both sides. They said CORE, and the police thought he knew more than he did. He again hoped he could get the pictures they wanted

Seven detectives work the case full-time. However, Akins promised the investigation would always continue. 


March 12, 1983

Captain Leroy Adkins admits there are no updates to the case. "This is a very frustrating case; we're still at square one." https://www.newspapers.com/image/140749610/?terms=decapitated&match=1

March 6th-12th, 1983 (Estimated time) 

City Officials promised to board up vacant buildings posing threats to kid safety. Carl E. Collins, property maintenance manager for Land Reutilization Authority, promised a northside group. The city takes title to the delinquent tax property, including the abandoned apartment building where Doe was found. (An offer on the property was made after Doe was found) Collins promised to make safety a priority by boarding up any buildings where kids might congregate in the area. 

The Land Reutilization Authority owns 1,000 of the 3,000 vacant buildings in St. Louis. One hundred fifty are not boarded. The other 2,000 places are privately owned, and if not made safe, the Building Department can board or demolish them, according to building commissioner Kenneth W. Greene. Collins said the apartment was scheduled for boarding. 

Keeping the buildings boarded is hard because squatters and thieves remove the boards. The building on Clemens had been boarded and then reopened three times. 


March 13, 1983, 

The paper reports that psychics, a mystery informant, and a National Civil Rights Organization attempted to help the police with Doe's case. 

Adkins said the police had investigated a dozen or even 100 tips on the topic. 

Some tips are more reasonable than others. One good tip was from a teacher who reported that their student had stopped attending school. This tip was investigated and cleared. The other tips were things like a woman who had gotten a flat tire on Poplar Street Bridge and then a vision of Doe's skull hidden at the base of the bridge. Again, this tip was investigated and then ruled out. 

Investigators have tried many things, including door-to-door interviews within the neighborhood where Doe was found, attendance records for schools throughout the area, foster homes, halfway houses, hospitals, and detention centers. Lastly, Teletype messages to all police departments. 

Sgt. Herb Riley encourages the public to check on their neighbor's children and see if anyone is missing. Detectives speculated that since a parent did not come forward to identify Doe or report a child like her missing, perhaps the parents were involved with the murder somehow. 


*This information does not have anything to do with the case directly. It is included to show what the police were dealing with. Barretts Elementary School, 1780 Carman Road in west St. Louis County, begins fingerprinting kids based on law enforcement's idea. Parents could give the prints later to the police if the kids go missing. 1.3 million kids vanish from homes annually, and 50,000 are abductions. 


March 25, 1983, 

Adkins says hundreds of leads have been tracked at this point, but nothing pans out. 

"The kids talk about it- everybody's anxious for it to be solved."


April 05, 1983 

St. Louis Jaycee Women provides fingerprinting services for parents to put them in their kids' records. It was Doe that inspired the project. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97439460/doe-83-fingerprinting/

May (Estimated)

An anonymous letter was sent to the police, naming a local man the killer. But unfortunately, law enforcement could not track him down at the time. It is unclear if this incident is the same as Feb. 26, 1986’s anonymous letter incident. 

*Mentioned in Burgoon’s interview with “Our Precious Hope” 


August-September 1983 (Estimated) 

Roughly seven months after Doe's discovery, Detectives have now tracked down every black female between the ages of eight and eleven in St. Louis Schools and even neighboring districts. University City, Wellston, Ferguson-Florissant, and Normandy. 


February - December 1983 (Estimated)

Medical Examiner Mary Case attests that Burgoon kept in contact for the nine months that Doe lay in the cold room. Burgoon would follow any leads that he could. 


Akins continued to attend community meetings to get people to come forward with information and show support to the community. However, around the time Doe was buried, he had stopped. 

Adkins had been keeping a large chart on the wall in his office. It showed what had been done and what needed to be done. Index cards with the names of people questioned were tacked to them. Unfortunately, around the time Doe was buried, Adkins removed the wall chart. 


December 01, 1983, 

The paper runs an article about Doe and discusses her upcoming burial. David Hayes, the spokesperson for the medical examiner's office, said the burial would be at 11:30 AM in Washington Park Cemetery, 5500 Brown road. The city was paying for the burial. 

Lt. William Wilson, deputy commander of the homicide division, states the case is still under investigation. There are no new leads, but they check missing persons across the country. Detectives have held public meetings to help spur people into coming forward to identify the girl.


December 02, 1983 (Friday)

Doe is buried in an unmarked pauper's grave. Doe's pallbearers are four men covered in mud as they carry her to rest in a small white coffin. It has been nine months since her body was found, and they delayed her burial. "Maybe I grew so attached to this kid I didn't want to go through with it. I kept thinking she would get a burial by the family." Sgt. Herb Riley said. Only four empty chairs were at the funeral, and only the media and the pallbearers were there. Riley hoped someone would arrive that knew her, but they did not. 

The funeral was provided through Woodson Funeral Home.


Rev. John W. Heyward Jr. of Union Memorial United Methodist Church committed her to the ground and God. Heyward's church was only a few blocks from where she had been found. 

"We are here to commit this body of a girl whose name we don't know, but whose name is surely known to God." 


December 03, 1983,

A list was narrowed down of missing school 15-16 kids that matched Doe. The police were going through the list. 


December 05, 1983,

The paper reports that one of the first things the detectives had done was go to all the grammar schools in the area. The school records were not accurate and school systems at the time got money for each child enrolled. So, kids who were no longer in school were kept in the books.


December 06, 1983 (Tuesday) 

Mary Schaefer watched Doe's burial on television and felt called to give the little girl a grave marker. Mary and Charles Schaefer are owners of Schaefer Monument Co. in Florissant. They hoped to have a marker ready for her by Christmas. They are leaving space on the marker in hopes her name is found. "The saddened hearts were healed in knowing the pain of life is over and the beauty of the soul revealed." will be on her stone. However, the Schaefer’s were told they were not allowed to donate the marker by the cemetery who, said the St. Louis Medical examiners proclaimed the stone “inappropriate”


December 19, 1983,

Brenda Schlegel works for the Board Of Education, became upset with Post-Dispatch writer Bill McClellan who had written an article that she did not like. Schlegel wanted the information corrected that some school districts had a problem with attendance records but not all of them. "We cooperated fully with the police. We keep our records up to date." 


December - February 1984 (Estimated) 

The English class taught by Mike Baumer saw the controversy about Doe’s marker and wrote letters to officials to fix the situation. They were successful, and the Schaefer’s were allowed to place the stone. It is unclear what the situation was about the stone and officials. 



February 1st, 1984 

Officials agreed to let the donated stone be placed for Doe. Dr. George Gantner, Chief Medical Examiner, did think the stone was inappropriate, and even after the letter and agreement to place the stone said, "I think it still may be inappropriate to place a marker on the girl's grave. but I have no objections to the stone being moved there." Gantner also said, "really, the police and cemetery officials" should decide. Homicide Detective Sgt. Herb Riley said police had "no objections at all." 


May 10, 1984 

The 15 members of Livingston ill., Community High School class taught by Mike Baumer held a small ceremony at Washington Park Cemetery for Doe. They decorated her grave, said prayers, and left. 


1983-84 (Estimated) 

Detectives reach out to serial killers Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole and ask about a possible connection to Doe. The men both denied any involvement. 


*Lucas and Toole were notoriously being questioned in many other cases around the country. The pair famously would agree to just about any case. 

February 1984 (Estimated) 

Burgoon teletyped a description of Doe's body to every police department in the country. 

Adkins would mail descriptions of missing children who matched Doe to Sgt. Joe Burgoon if he saw them in the magazines. 

Investigators had put in thousands of hours on this case. 


February 28, 1984, 

In an investigative article, Doe's case is compared with another little girl kidnapped from the street and raped in nearby abandoned buildings. The article describes the violence surrounding the abandoned buildings in the area. Henry Autrey, assistant circuit attorney, said that about 90 percent of the sexual assaults on children that did not involve a relative involved assaults in vacant buildings.


February 29, 1984, 

LE released a list of twenty-two girls' names hoping it would help them with the identity of Doe. These names were girls who withdrew from school in 1982-83 in St. Louis or Normandy School District in St. Louis County. These records do not show them being transferred to other schools. One thousand other girls have already been traced. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97406344/83doe-lists-of-possible-names-but-they/

March 04, 1984, 

The search narrowed to seven girls instead of the twenty-two names previously listed in the paper.




June 10, 1984, 

"You reach a point when you've done practically everything you can do. So, unless something new comes in, the cases sit there. The real reason, I suppose, is the volume of work. You can't devote the manpower." "That's why the headless girl is so frustrating there's still work to be done." Captain Leroy J. Adkins. 

An article written about many unsolved crimes in the area explains some of the investigations done on Doe's case. A pathologist's examination of her bones determined Doe's age. Doe was tall for her age, even without her head. She was 4 feet and 10 inches tall, weighing 70 lbs. 9-10 years old and in fourth or third grade. Pathologists removed a mold growth from her body and grew a similar fungus in a petri dish at the Missouri Botanical Garden. They estimated Doe had been dead for three to five days. Doe's case had gotten national attention, and they received many calls from psychics, but they were all of no use. *updated info later because there are a lot of estimates about her height and weight, and age that is not true.

Detective Riley, Joe Burgoon, and Wayne Bender recently retraced all the investigation steps. They even reinterviewed people. They are rechecking the unaccounted school children lists. They are also tracing 716 girls 7-12yrs on the lists of Aid To Dependent Children recipients. They have given out 15,000 flyers about Doe. Two thousand letters were sent to schools in Missouri and Illinois to gather information about missing children. Letters were sent to state police and highway patrol commanders across the country. Immigration authorities aided in the investigation.

LE searched the sewer system from Hamilton Ave to Union Boulevard, from Delmar to St. Louis Ave to Hodiamont to Union, and Delmar to Natural bridge. Rooftops were checked. A 10,000-dollar reward was offered. Adkins sent out letters to every black newspaper and radio station. The detectives said they still get calls, and some have made sense. The last tip from February was "another wild goose chase" https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97441198/unsolved-murdersjane-doe-83/.

July 22, 1984, 

Alton Coleman is mentioned briefly as a possible case connection in the paper. Coleman was a murderer in the midwest area. Coleman had a history of violence against children. Coleman had a female partner Debra Brown. They both had many alias names. 


1986 (Estimated) 

Sgt. Burgoon sent a report to the FBI Academy Quantico, VA, and asked them to find cases similar to Doe. They had a unique program that analyzed unsolved killings throughout the country. The results were that there were no other similar cases. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/65856360/jane-doe-1983/

January 28, 1986, Child Find-Missouri tried to revive public interest in the case by putting up 1,000 for information that would help police identify the girl. "We want to keep her case alive before the public and, hopefully, someone somewhere will come forward," Beverly Goodlin, Executive director of Child Find Of Missouri. They also planned on releasing 100,000 fliers across the country. 



Burgoon and Riley had spent the last three years sending letters to schools in nearby states, working with the immigration office, checking welfare rolls, printing flyers, and enlisting police help across the country.

"I've been accused of being possessed, and I'll be the first to admit I am. It's because I know that someplace out there there's a mother, a family, that knows their child is 

missing." - Riley


February 14, 1986, 

An anonymous letter was postmarked for this day and sent from Saint Louis to the Police Department commander. LE declined to let anyone know what the letter said.

*It is unclear if this is a separate incident that was mentioned by Burgoon in an interview with “Our Precious Hope” documentary. It’s possible this is another anonymous letter.  


February 25, 1986,

There was a news conference, and Captain Charles Alphin, commander of the homicide division, appealed to the letter writer via news to call him. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97418761/anon-letter-doe-83/

February 26, 1986, 

Captain Charles Alphin, commander of the homicide division, appealed to the letter writer via a newspaper to call him and offered confidentiality and protection. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97418761/anon-letter-doe-83/

April 23, 1987,

St. Louis, MO, detectives attempted to talk with the murderer Vernon Brown to see a connection between Doe and him. "He has no comment about her," was the reply. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97419484/brown-possible-killer-doe-83/

March 03, 1981,

Burgoon was looking into an abduction case from Chicago. A 7 1/2-year-old girl was abducted in 1980 but never recovered. Another detective suspected a killer on death row in Missouri and planned to speak with him. 


May 04, 1991, 

Sgt. Joe Burgoon was on Oprah Winfrey in the audience in Chicago studios "Unsolved Murders." the episode was to be aired May 10, 1991. There he answered questions about Doe. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/49192653/joe-burgoon-on-oprah/

May 10, 1991

"Unsolved Murders" aired by Oprah Winfrey 


March 1993 

Storage Shed Skull was ruled out as too old to be Doe. Armed Forces Medical Examiner's Office in Washington did the testing on a skull found in May in St. Louis County. Dr. William Rodriquez, a forensic anthropologist, was the one who ruled. A Charlack police officer got the skull from a man who was being questioned at his storage shed on St—Charles Rock Road, near Interstate 170. Danny L. Davis, 34, of Pagedale, was just a collector. The skull came from a souvenir shop on Lindbergh Boulevard near Northwest Plaza shops. Davis was told it was an Indian girl who died by tomahawk. 

*Case cross over to Linda Sherman 


November 20, 1994, 

Burgoon and Adkins agreed to appear on the "Sightings" TV show. In a 2021 interview, Burgoon said it was Adkins's idea. They had mailed the psychic Noreen Renier the sweater and rope before the show. They never got them back. The evidence was lost in the mail. Burgoon said he called in 2020, and she said she had sent it via registered mail. It is unclear if Burgoon talked with Renier herself or the show producer. It is also unclear if there had been a follow-up to the mail loss.

Joe said the situation was embarrassing.


This is a link to a video clip from the show after the fox news report of Doe's body being exhumed. 


Both Burgoon and Adkins appear in the show and talk about Doe, but they do not leave St. Louis, MO. They sit and connect with Renier by phone. Renier then touches the rope and sweater and talks with detectives as if she is Doe. The account is specific and implies that Doe's mother was an addict, the killer Doe's teacher with a dishonorable discharge, and even tells detectives she was killed by a river next to a bridge with a B name. Finally, they create a killer profile sketch from psychic visions. 

*More on Renier later

*More on the lost evidence later 

May 7, 1999,

Rachelle Rowe, a channel 2 reporter, covered Doe's story on May 7th, 1999. Although Rowe covered the story well, the visuals received criticism for their tabloid style. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/99039803/st-louis-post-dispatch/

2001 (Estimated)

Ron Henderson wanted to exhume Doe and try the mineral/isotope testing this year. Unfortunately, with the events of 9/11, the project was put on hold. 

February 18, 2001,

An article in the paper muses a possible serial killer connection. A death row inmate in Texas named Lynn Sells. Lynn sells committed other murders but told LE he killed a black female in Missouri. Sells had a history of violence against children and lived in St.Louis Brecken-ridge Hills for most of 1983.


April 28, 2001, 

Precious Doe from Kansas City, Missouri, was a similar case. The two cases brought up memories and emotions, and they were studied to see if there was a connection between them. 

Erica Michelle Marie Green's case was solved and ruled out as connected to Saint Louis 1983 Little Doe. 



Ruled out July 10, 2001


May 29, 2001 

Four detectives continue to work on the case, but newer murders get priority. 


November 01, 2002 

The strange story of a private investigator is published in the paper. An anonymous woman gave 3,000 in cash to test the DNA she collected. The woman claimed that Doe was "American Indian" from a group home in the upper mid-west and whose mother had been murdered. A drifter living in southern Texas allegedly killed her. Burgoon did promise to make sure the DNA would get tested.


December 25, 2002

The DNA test commissioned by the anonymous woman came back with negative results. The woman knew the identity allegedly through visions she received while practicing an indigenous religion. Doe allegedly came from a group home in Minnesota, and her mother was murdered. Though the tests failed to identify the girl, the woman refused to believe the results and vowed to continue her investigation. 


*The woman is Sharon Nolte, and she is discussed more in a later section. 

August 25, 2003

Herb Humphries, a TV personality, said he covered Doe's story. Humphries passed away on August 25, 2003, having been a 20-year reporter for KMOV (Channel 4) news. Humphries specifically covered Doe on Nightside. 



(KMOV was contacted on 3/21/22 to see if there was old footage available. There is a price to search and a price to buy rights) 

2001-2004 (Estimated) 

The building has been removed, and it is only a grassy lot. 




July 2004 (Estimated)

Detective Tom Carroll and Jeff Stone interview Tommy Lynn Sells on death row. "The interview was inconclusive." Carroll thought Sells would claim anything. https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

*Former Detective Tom Carroll


2004 (Estimated) 

Tom Carroll would find possible matches for Doe via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Then he’d contact the families to get DNA. Eleven out of twelve gave DNA freely, but the one family that didn’t, Carroll, had local police get a sample from their trash. 

The white substance/semen found on Doe was tested around this time and had no DNA. 

The pubic hair found on Doe did not have enough DNA in it to do anything with it. 

Doe’s DNA is in CODIS by this timeframe but when it was put in exactly is unknown.


*More Information About Tom Carroll and this part of the investigation later

2005 (Estimated) 

Missouri will now collect DNA from all convicted felons no matter the crime. https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

May 19, 2005

Tom Carroll visits the killer Vernon Brown on his execution day, hoping that Brown might say if he killed Doe in 1983. Carroll was convinced that Brown did it, but Brown went to his execution without revealing anything. 


2009 (Estimated) 

Doe's body was attempted to be exhumed, but three other bodies were in her gravesite under her donated headstone.


2011 (Estimated) 

Dr. Michael Graham, St. Louis city medical examiner, approves to exhume of Doe's remains for further testing.


March 21, 2013 

The search was still ongoing for Doe's lost gravesite at Washington Park Cemetery. St. Louis Cold case detective Dan Fox, Retired detective Joe Burgoon, Charley Fuchs Funeral Director Calvin Whitaker, and Washington University researcher Abby Stylianou joined in the search. In addition, they rely on help from Ed Sedej, an industrial photographer from Belleville who had covered the funeral as a photojournalist. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/experts-join-hunt-for-slain-childs-grave-in-berkeley-cemetery/article_a3208928-56ec-551e-b654-447a5b350ba1.html

June 17, 2013

Doe's body was exhumed after several months of searching for her lost gravesite. The body was transferred to the medical examiner's office with the intent to do some testing. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/slain-girls-remains-found-as-part-of-30-year-old-st-louis-murder-investigation/article_266e23ef-c09e-5d36-bdd4-db7090e4f461.html

January 21, 2014 

Testing had been completed by this time, resulting in 10 southeastern states. Dan Fox, the detective, said he planned on making a media blitz for those regions. 


February 08, 2014

Doe was buried at the Garden Of Innocents a second time and with a proper funeral. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/child-killed-in-1983-laid-to-rest-in-garden-of-innocents/article_a1a32eb1-16e0-5c01-b520-85805989b01b.html

2016 (Estimated)
Burgoon asks the FBI to rerun the case through the databases. 


2018-2019 (Estimated) 

Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department starts its cold case unit. 


September 24, 2020 

The cold case unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has closed ten other cold cases. They start an investigation into Doe, and she has her room dedicated to her case. Lt. Scott Aubuchon, is headSt. Louis Metro Homicide Division currently. https://fox2now.com/news/metro-most-wanted/st-louis-cold-case-investigators-s 

February 23, 2021

SLMPD Cold Case Files; using their youtube channel to plead to the public for help on this case. They report again that they could not find any relatives at this time through DNA. They report that they have enlisted outside agencies and have done everything possible with the DNA evidence found at the scene. At least "twenty other children" have been ruled out. They also have a substantial reward for the case available. https://youtu.be/Hk0QUamzBIw

In a news article about the Cold Case Unit, they allude to the possibility of private DNA data banks citing they are watching them to see how it solves other cases. 


September 16, 2021

A news article gives updates about what has been done in the case. Volumes of Doe's case file have been digitized and moved from the boxes to a computer. Investigators have not been able to find relatives through DNA. 


Summer 2021
The “Our Precious Hope” Documentary was released for a time on youtube. It was later re-done and re-released with acclaim and even more information. https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/the-st-louis-american/our-precious-hope-st-louis-baby-jane-doe-documentary/63-49684372-e3d6-4b7e-9b98-77dad950338e

Summer 2022

The "Our Precious Hope Revisited" Documentary has been released. It has the best information and interviews with people involved in the case, past and present. 

I helped work on this documentary. The information provided in the film is the most accurate and up-to-date. It clears up old misinformation and contains interviews with leading detectives in the case. 



The documentary team members continue to help Hope’s case behind the scenes and are still working on projects to help solve her case while also looking forward to helping others. 

The documentary inspires the Facebook group Saint Louis Missouri Jane Doe 1983 (Unsolved), Which posts articles about Hope and also discusses similar cases and crimes with the hopes of solving Doe's case and spreading her story. 

Location/Area Details 

Doe was found in a basement room of the building at  5635 Clemens Avenue 63112 of Saint Louis, Missouri, in the City's West End Cabanne neighborhood.

Sgt. Brian McGlynn St. Louis Police Department Sgt. Homicide Detective and a current officer investigating the case interviews with the "Our Precious Hope" Documentary in 2022. Described the neighborhood of the 5,600 block of Clemens Ave. at the time as overrun with drugs and prostitution. 

This being what it may, it was not void of children or family life either—later described by others who lived in the area.  

The area had a mixture of occupied buildings and abandoned buildings. McAllister (area resident) describes the area of Clara as having many apartments. There was one massive one with a big court area where the neighborhood kids would play but get chased out of often.  

Today, the area is known as West End, but previously, it was called Cabanne and was part of a larger community. Cabanne used to cover neighborhoods now called Skinker-DeBaliviere, Debaliviere Place, Visitation Park, and Hamilton Heights. The residential development happened by 1900, which means many buildings were built from 1890-to 1920. The area has a vibrant history, but around World War 11, people began to move, and from there, the area fought economic decline. 


Extra Sleuthing Source:



*"Our Precious Hope Revisited Documentary” Describes the area with photos and 3d models very well. 


There was much movement from citizens either leaving to suburbs or leaving altogether. In the early 1980s, the city tried to do redevelopment and budget cuts. Harmful cuts like removing the Homer G. Phillips City Hospital that provided services for the black community hurt the community. 





Cabanne Courts (West End Gardens) was built in 1973 and were known for murders and poverty. This housing project of townhouses was close to 5635 Clemens, a few blocks north. It is assumed that the Cabanne Courts area was small, but it was Cabanne, Vernon, and Maple streets. 


1970 (Estimated)

Pruitt-Igoe Complex was closed, and this caused many residents to move to the west end.


Extra Sleuthing sources: 

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth Documentary 

St. Louis has a history of aggressive segregation, and many areas sit on the invisible lines of the not-so-distant past. The Delmar Boulevard, for example, has been referenced as the "Delmar Divide." The segregation lines in the city were upheld even after official desegregation. Even to this day, some still try and hold to old traditions. The rippling effects cannot be ignored as a larger picture of Little Doe's case. It is important to note that Doe's body location is not far from Delmar Boulevard. 



The area where Doe was found is demographically black, and in 2020 West's population was 71.5%; in 2012, the area was 98% black, and historically it seems similar. In news clips of Doe's investigation, crowds of young black children watch the investigations unfold. The event was big, and it affected the community deeply.


Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis University did a study and found that the higher demographics of African American residents correlated with higher poverty rates


Poverty and vacant homes were severe issues in the area. Doe was found in 1983. In Doe's timeline of events, her murder glues the community together to protest and beg the city to do something about the dangerous and crumbling buildings. These buildings attracted higher crime rates, but because of the neighbor's socioeconomics, they were powerless to do much about the buildings on a personal level. Unfortunately, these issues persist to this day. 


Rumors of the area said that a brothel or prostitution loop was very close to this building. There are some newspaper sources to back up the rumors a little. In 1971 an article talked about the rampant prostitution in the west end. In 1983 police broke up a sizeable call-girl ring and alluded to the larger picture of prostitution rings and organized crime. Then there is the story of Shanda Sue Troxell, who was kidnapped, and her parents possibly involved in a prostitution ring. The kidnapping was thought to have been the result of a rival ring. The girl was found alive but bound, gagged, and blindfolded in a suitcase near a dumpster. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97755848/shanda-sue-troxell/




In 1974 Prostitution in the west end was still an issue. They said the situation had increased in the Kingshighway and Washington Boulevard area. Some of the problems were that men were menacing women and would even chase them into buildings even if they were not prostitutes. 


Saint Lukes's Hospital (later known as Regional) was only two blocks from the body location. This hospital was free to all and used by those in poverty for every single type of affliction. The hospital was busy and so full you could see patients outside waiting. It was also well-known as the place to go if you had a gunshot wound. 

Rumors also said the area had some close drug rings/homes. The newspaper in the 70s and early 80s can back this up with some articles busting drug rings or questioning drug-watch programs in the area. 





Vacant buildings are a magnet for violence, and that is a problem still plaguing the area in the present day. However, some programs are now in place to help. "We should be doing more," Richardson said. "Right now, in the city of St. Louis, there are some streets, blocks and entire areas that are vacant. And that just creates pockets of challenges and dark spots within our city for crime to happen."






When Doe was found, there had been a push from the community for accountability from the city. 

Similar crimes have happened in the abandoned buildings of Saint Louis. However, none-so are as gruesome as Doe's or involve a child this young. Sexual assaults where a victim is taken into a vacant building and then robbed afterward are commonplace. Sexual assaults of young women and girls around 16 years old where they have been picked up and taken somewhere else and then robbed are also common. 

Extra Sleuthing: 

These links are sources of accounts of assaults in the area and year.

Child/SA/Robbery/Vacant Building  https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97800273/sas-of-children-in-stlouis-area/

SA/Abandoned Taxi 


SA/Vacant Building/Child 


Acid attack/SA 


This source has a list of violent crimes and vacant homes. It spans from 1991 to 2017. Skeletons were found in homes, dead and mutilated dogs, beaten and sexually assaulted women, homicides, etc. Read at your discretion. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/city-s-vacant-buildings-have-been-magnets-for-crime-over/article_18850529-0bb0-5017-99aa-09d1a208978b.html

1972 A woman had her face peeled in this neighborhood. 


It is common knowledge that people without homes and substance use disorders use these vacant buildings. This is a current account circa 2019 that highlights these issues. The article also talks about an open-air drug market. Grand Boulevard and Montgomery Street. (13 minutes drive from 5635 Clemens Ave.) This account also tells the story of a young man who used to take trips up this road at 14. 



1983 account of a St. Louis Deputy caught buying PCP in a home in the 2400 block of Cass Avenue. The article does not say if the home was abandoned, but this is an excellent example of the overall climate of the area. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97808357/st-louis-post-dispatch/

There were an estimated 7,000 to 12,000 vacant structures in St. Louis in 2018, and according to Stltoday, chances are firefighters or police officers have visited them and sometimes more than once.

The Post-Dispatch analyzed the police data and showed that a third of calls were in 150ft of property identified as vacant. The crime in the vacant areas includes dogfighting, drugs, and homicides. In addition, criminals hide guns and drugs inside the buildings. 

There are six officers, one from each district, that make up a Problem Properties Unit. Leaders in the unit include Sgt. John McLaughlin, Matt Moak of the City Counselor's Office, Frank Oswald Building Commissioner, and Ed Ware, Building Inspection manager. 



This 2022 account still talks about abandoned properties and how people without homes and drug substance disorders are still current issues. 


In 1983 the abandoned brick apartment Doe was found in was described as crumbling near some residential homes. The area is crowded with parked cars, trash, and tiny trees. Trash is strewn about, full dumpsters, and the building has opened windows and vacant property signs attached to the door. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16262370/decapitated-body-of-girl-found-in/

The building was not near any common veins of travel or well-used loops.


Doe's body was found in the home's basement in the boiler/furnace room. The building is three stories tall, and in its apartment form, it held 24 apartments with eight on each floor. It had been abandoned, according to the paper, sometime in 1974. However, locals say the building had been used longer than that. 

The building is a large red brick building with white stone trim. Above the door frame in Latin is the inscription Domi, the word for home, but Domi was the name of the apartments.




*More on this home later

Extra Sleuthing: 

"Precious Hope Revisted" Has the best models and layouts visually to understand the location. 

October 7, 1983,

Mayor Vincent C. Shoemehl Jr. fights the image of Saint Louis being perceived as a place of high crime. Citing that, St. Louis ranks No. 2 in the country per 100,000 residents while Miami is No 1.


Historical Timeline For 5635 Clemens Ave

*This timeline has corrections from my last article. I mixed up the address and listed a few incorrect pieces of information last time. 

Abraham Grabel and John Kern Boderink. I also listed a bland S. as a tax delinquent of the home in 1975. These are incorrect.

Extra Sleuthing Source: History of the area before buildings and how it was developed. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=169046

March 25, 1900,

There is an advertisement for a white female cook, housework, and no washing for 5635 Clemens Ave. 


October 03, 1909, 

The second time the address is mentioned is in a paper called Amerika, and it briefly lists Cordelia M. Bood, 5635 Clemens Ave. (I believe it was an announcement for a local ball.) 


December 09, 1928, 

An advert runs by the Stanley Epstein Realtors Inc. of 904 Chestnut Street MAin 4384. They offer 55.00 to 70.00 for new apartments at 5635 Clemens. Electric refrigeration, lights, gas, heat, and hot water are included. The rooms are described as a large living room with a concealed bed, dinette and kitchenette, shower, and tile walls in the baths. They have large suites with actual bedrooms as well. 



During this period, the apartments change hands multiple times and often. Buyers sometimes sight unseen only to be resold or traded right away. 












March 26, 1961

Adverts for a modern 24-family Apt. At 5635, Clemens gives a slightly updated description of the building. Tile wall bath and shower, aluminum screen-storm windows, stove and refrigerator, hot water, and gas furnished. Basement lockers. The contact is now Michelson R.E CH 1-2177


April 16, 1961,

The apartments are advertised as modern and fireproof. They also have basement laundry and storage.



The apartments continued to function, and the owners or contacts changed slowly. 




August 31, 1972, 

The apartments are listed as Senior Adults only.


September 01, 1972, 

Samuel S. Blockton, 47 years old, Bi-State in maintenance, lived at the apartments. Blockton was accused of killing three co-workers. Police said Blockton had previously served five prison terms, including six for 20 years for murder. Blockton may have had a female getaway car driver for the co-worker killing. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/66135937/killer-at-clemens/

The property was barely mentioned in the newspaper until 1975 for a marriage license in which a couple listed their address as the apartments. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97674724/clemens-history/

The newspaper cited the building as having been abandoned in 1974, but the building has been used a bit longer, according to locals. 


Documents over who owned the building back up the local statements.


April 25, 1974, 

A General Warranty Deed was exchanged between Missouri Title Holding Corp, Willie F. Price, and Mildred L. Price

May 01, 1974, 

A Deed of Trust has been exchanged between Willie F. Price and Mildred L. Price and a second party, the Pension Fund Christian Church. 

1978 (Estimated) 

“Our Precious Hope Revisited” cites that the last tenants of the building moved out around this time. 

January 01, 1981, 

M B EATON attempts an ownership survey of the property.

January 08, 1982, 

A Sheriff's Deed was exchanged between BSHF City Of St. L and a second party LRA (Most likely Land Revitalization Association) 

It can be assumed that the property was not abandoned in 1974 like the paper said but closer to 1981 or perhaps 1982. 


October 13, 1981,

Eaton, M.B. 5635 Clemens Ave. is mentioned in the paper as tax delinquent. (Unsure if this was their home address or if the property was tax delinquent) * This is interesting because, in 1981, M B EATON did an ownership survey to see who owned 5635 Clemens Ave. 



A person who wished to remain anonymous was interviewed for the "Our Precious Hope" documentary. They had been living/ may have owned the apartments up until 1981. This person was male, and their name was not available via public deed search. 


1980’s (Estimated)
According to the documentary “Our Precious Hope” the apartment buildings had only been vacant a few years prior to the discovery of Doe. 

1993-98 (Estimated)

Some Condemnation Records show the building area was meant to be wrecked. So there was one emergency secure boarded-up status as well. 

Through the '90s, it appears to have been a vacant building/lot. https://dynamic.stlouis-mo.gov/citydata/newdesign/index.cfm

2002 (Estimated) 

Leisure Living Community Apartments are built, and they span over several plots of land, including 5635 Clemmens. https://www.apartments.com/leisure-living-community-saint-louis-mo/cfrg4cf/

2003- 2004 (Estimated) 

We know the building is officially gone and the spot left is only a grass lot.



Day Details 

The day Doe was found was chilly but mild for the season. The daily newspaper reports that the weather was mild, but the lows were in the 30s. The historical weather backs this up, as do the crime scene photographs and film. The Police in the photos are wearing heavy coats and gloves. In some pictures, Police are smoking cigarettes as they search. Sunrise was at 6:36 AM, and Sunset was at 5:54 PM. 

The weather is discussed frequently in this case because of the quote about the basement being too cold even for rats. However, Doe's discovery may have happened because the weather was mild for February. People gathered together to have a barbeque, and the two teens wandered from the party. Joe Burgoon talks about how it was warmer than usual that day. However, the basement itself was still frigid, and the weather previously had been cold. 




Historical Context 

On the day Doe was found, the last TV episode of "M*A*S*M*A*S*H" airs.


Ronald Reagan was president, cabbage patch dolls were popular, and Microsoft Word was launched. 


Extra Sleuthing Sources: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2007/08/80s-capsules-1983/https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=UBnQDr5gPskC&dat=19830305&printsec=frontpage&hl=en


The St. Louis County school districts agree to accept black students from the city on a voluntary basis. State funds are to be used to bus the kids to the county for an integrated education.


January 02, 1983, 

New child abuse laws were being considered in 1983 Missouri following 1982's passage of fundamental laws to protect children from abuse. 


It was not yet mandatory for observers of child neglect or abuse to report what they had seen—the tragic case of Daniel Macklin, a baby strangled by his father, propels legislators forward. Neighbors and friends knew of the children's dire situation but hesitated to report it on the hopes the mother would be well again or for the children's sake. 


There is a disconnect between child abuse reports, how and to whom they get reported, and when it goes to the police. For example, in 1982, there were 1,500 child abuse cases, but only 176 were reported to the St. Louis Police Department. 


World Child Abuse

In the 1980s, the U.N. continued to work to try and bring protective rights to children on a global scale. Five hundred sixty million children younger than five die daily during this time. A 1985 news article cites that child prostitution or selling children for domestic service is commonplace. Specifically, census figures show that 22 percent of children younger than 18 were below the poverty line in the USA. In 1983 an increase of almost 35 percent in four years. 

"The United States has the weakest system of the western industrialized societies to assure children get what they need to grow into productive adults."


Child Trafficking 

A term that began to be used in the late 1980s after the missing children's network bill passed in Missouri. 


Child Trafficking Scams 

In the 1980s, child trafficking scams began to be reported in the news. A mother would sell her child or adopt them out with a large fee to a family. Then a friend of the mother would pose as a social worker and bring them back to the mother. Only for the process to repeat itself. 


More Crime Scene / Location / Area Info 

The crime scene location is unknown. Doe was found at 5635 Clemmens in the cold basement, but this was where her body was placed, not where she had been murdered. This was apparent on day one and cited in the first newspaper story about Doe's discovery. There had been an apparent lack of blood at the body placement scene. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97893014/body-found-herb-riley-bill-mcclellan/

The basement room in which Doe was placed was very dark. As a result, the boys did not know she was there until they created a light. Later, officers had to use floodlights to illuminate them on the first day of the investigation. It is also cold in there with the famous quote, 

"It was too cold even for rats." 


The paper reported that the home had not been boarded up, but this was only partially true. 


When Doe was found, the back entrance of the building (faces north) had not been boarded up. However, the front entry door was, and it had vacant/condemned signs on the building. It is possible the second floor was accessible from the back. 

Burgoon confirms that the front was indeed boarded when Doe was found but not the back.

The front door (in the south)  is described as a red front door, which would have been visible to those around—the red front door with sizable white stone trim that was ornate. "DOMI," the word for home in Latin and the name of the apartments, is inscribed above the door. Then a secondary white trim around the door frame. A white sign with large red letters on the door said, "DANGER CONDEMNED KEEP AWAY." A secondary sign was below that one in all red with white letters. Small shrubs or trees were growing around the entrance. The frame of the door has the number 5635 in black. 

As demonstrated by the man in the video of "Our Precious Hope", the door quickly pushes open, but it also has a nearly new silver lock on the door and frame. So you had to step up into the house. The front was curated in vintage photos of the home, and the trees may have been deliberately planted for aesthetics. 

The best way to see the layout of the body location is in the documentary. They have 3D images and blueprints of what the inside would have looked like; before this, most article writers were going off of snippets of old photographs, so descriptions were getting mixed up. Since we didn't know where precisely each photo came from!

You had to go through the back entrance to the body location. The backside entrance is nearly an afterthought compared to the front door. The building appears to indent down the middle. It was dark and foreboding. Mcallister, a child at the time, said that it was the kind of spot kids would avoid going to because it was so dark and dangerous looking.  This entrance also has some weeds growing around and can be seen in front of the flight of broken upward steps, but it is minimal. 

The backside of the building has many evenly spaced windows. There are two windows on either side of the entrance, and they have wooden boards on them, but those may have been added later. There was a telephone or electric pole and a paved space for some cars to park. An ally runs behind the building. Directly next door on the left is another brick building similar in construction but seems more dilapidated. 


There are other buildings in the area that are vacant. However, there were also buildings nearby that were full of people. 

Burgoon describes going down steps and into a hallway. There are six steps down into this hallway. Previously, it had been assumed that there was blood smeared down into the hall, but it was discovered that it was actually on the entrance to the room where she was placed. Not the outside steps to the hall entrance. Inside is a stone foundation that is also white. Building debris is on the ground.

Burgoon said there were three rooms in the basement area. One was just the storage room, and the second was the furnace/boiler room, where Doe was found. The third room was just another storage room.

The doorway into this room (faces west) is where blood is on the wall from when Doe had been carried into the space. Previously, many people had assumed the blood was on the walls from the outside steps. However, it's on the wall/frame area of the furnace room. Also, looking at the photos of it, it appears to be more of a drip vs. streak, but this is subjective to who is looking at the picture.  

This room had dirt, ash, asbestos, and leaves inside. There was also debris from the building itself on the ground. It was also damp, and a bit of water was running. The home had no electricity, and the furnace room was the darkest. This is the room Doe was placed in. The hallway Burgoon describes is large and has a white jagged stone foundation for the walls. The room Doe was in is on the right, and the doorway is rough and built robust and straightforward. Again, the hall had debris from the house. There is some other debris you can see that appears to be a bottle, newspapers, and a discarded blue object. The walls of this room are 12” thick. 

Previously, the investigators had said that there was no attempt to hide Doe's body beside her being placed in the basement, but we now know, according to the group that had seen her before the police, that she had indeed been covered with leaves to some extent. 

Doe had only been carried 36 feet into the building. Her body lay face down with her feet pointed to the front of the building, and her head area was pointed to the back. The blood drips/smears on the wall going into the room were on the same side her head area was facing. Doe was placed just inside the entrance and on the ground. "2  1/2' of ceiling debris and space between door entrance and the body" -Our Precious Hope Revisited There is a 12" elevation drop from the room entrance.  Also, this room had four boarded-up small basement windows. 

There are some second-floor/thirdfloor photos available online of the home. Often these photos are mixed in as part of the body location. However, the home's second floor had little to do with Doe, but the description is as follows. 

The second-floor hallway appears wide enough for two men, and it is long with several open door frames on either side. The wall conditions here are crumbling; the blue-green paint scheme is there but barely. The hallway has some house debris on the floor, and some walls appear to be exposed to their wood slats or perhaps brick underneath. The floors appear to be covered in dirt or debris dust from the house. It is unclear if footprints are being made on the floor and, if so if they had been documented. 

Inside there is an ornate flight of stairs seen in the available photographs. It is unclear, but these might be the ones to get to the second floor. According to the photos from the documentary, the steps appear to be dark wood with ornate rails. The windows inside the building also had matching wooden trim. The walls were two shades of blue-green. The darker the color painted on the bottom half. Some walls lacked paint but instead were peeling and cream-colored. 

Outside while the investigation takes place, children crowded around. They curiously watched as everyone worked. Eric Mcallister was a child and described the scene from his perspective. Mcallister noticed many adults all focused on the back of the apartment building. Kids decided to scale a tree to try and see over the crowd while staying out of the way. Photos are available of the crowds and in the documentary, you can see the present-day tree still there that the kids climbed to see over the crowds but stay out of the way. 

Sources containing Photos/Videos and statements 




Surrounding Area Of 5635 Clemens

The abandoned apartment building was not alone. In that area, there were other abandoned buildings. Some buildings were still used, and kids would migrate together and play. Burgoon describes a building to the west that was an apartment. The building next door had people in it and even makeshift stores such as a candy store run by a lady in her apartment. 

Eric McAllister describes the occupied buildings in the documentary and mentions that parents would sit outside in lawn chairs in front of the lived-in buildings. McAllister said that just east of the building where Doe was found, there were at least two apartments he remembered. 

McAllister also describes the local children's routes to get to a popular park. The park was less than half a block west of the scene. Kids from all over the area would migrate to the park. They would use a walkway strip that had two-way traffic through the area called  "Ruth Porter Mall," but now it's called "The Greenway." Macallister said it was like the highway for kids because it would take you to many popular locations. 

Mentioning St. Lukes's hospital again here. Some say it's significant because if Doe had needed medical care, there was a place nearby. This might eliminate a motive for her death. Unfortunately, there are rumors that this hospital could have been a human trafficking stop.

Trouble With Schools

Checking school attendance was one of the larger tasks that investigators had to tackle. The project started nearly the same day that Doe was found and extended roughly seven months afterward. The project was so intense that one of the detectives, Wayne Bender, was hospitalized for migraines. 

Then there was the controversy about the schools not keeping good records because they were given money for each student on the books. 

Also, in 1983 St. Louis school district agreed to accept black students voluntarily. State funds bused the kids around to get an integrated education. So, that means more influx of kids being moved around to different schools, and not a very good way to track them all. 

One area resident described how there were schools, but those schools had branches. This just added to the difficulty of which kids went there. https://youtu.be/8okFxU6pkko

Burgoon describes how they discovered that some schools had to lay off secretaries due to money concerns, and then there was no longer a person to track the kids. The student accounting office of the state's board of public schools was forward with technology and had computerized lists, but not all the schools had this. 

Then once they found children that were not accounted for, they had to appeal to the newspaper to help track the kids down. It seemed they were all ruled out eventually. In 1984 LE went back through and rechecked the lists. Eventually, they expanded out of the immediate area into the surrounding areas to check, but it came up empty. Some of the other areas are University City, Wellston, Ferguson-Florissant, and Normandy. 










Burial And Reburial

Little Doe's burial was delayed for nine months, and in that time, she lay unclaimed in the city morgue.



"Maybe I grew so attached to this kid I didn't want to go through with it." Detective Herb Riley. "I kept thinking she would get a burial by the family" https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97382586/doe-83/

A memorial service was held for Doe before her burial. On March 06, 1983, only six days after her body had been found. At least 60 locals attended the service at New Mount Gideon West Baptist Church, 725 Goodfellow Boulevard.


Doe did not lay in rest during that time in the cold room. Instead, people often came to view her body, and she was treated like a spectacle. One time, a state legislator came to view her body and brought a group of psychics with them. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97584666/jane-doe-1983-information-story/

Finally, on December 02, 1983, Little Doe received her well-deserved rest, and she was buried. The funeral was a sad and dreary affair, with her arrangements being made quickly. A medical examiner's office spokesperson, David Hayes, made the burial announcement. The burial was planned for 11:30 AM in Washington Park Cemetery, 5500 Brown Road. The cost of the burial was to be paid by the city. 


It was gloomy and misty on the day of her first burial. Our Little Doe was buried in a pauper's grave, and it was unmarked. "I'm really saddened that no one showed up." Sgt. Herb Riley said. Riley hoped that someone that knew her would go to the funeral, but he knew it was a long shot. 

Doe was prepared for burial in a white body bag, and she was dressed in a pink and white checkered dress.

Four gravediggers still in their muddy overalls were also Doe's pallbearers. They carried her tiny body up a muddy hill in a plain white wooden coffin that measured 5 feet. Rev. Heyward, who preceded, placed a flower and pine bough wreath on her coffin before it was lowered into the ground, and a burial attendant scattered flower petals over the single spray of pink, white and yellow flowers. The flowers were a faux spray of daisies, mums, and pine boughs, and it was all donated by the funeral director and a florist. There had been a simple white cloth on the casket affixed by a staple.

 "We are here to commit this body of a girl whose name we don't know but whose name is surely known to God." 

Four empty chairs sat to the side of her grave, and her service only lasted five minutes.

The four unnamed gravediggers who attended Doe's burial were also her pallbearers. Sgt. Herb Riley, Capt. Leroy Adkins, Rev. John W. Heyward Jr. of The Union Memorial United Methodist Church. The church is only a few blocks from Doe's body location. A dozen unnamed reporters and some police officers. The funeral home that did the work was Woodson Funeral Home, and the owner was Jesse Woodson, and he was there also. Baxter Leisure, medical examiner, and a representative from the Congress on Racial Equality










The journey to get Doe a marker was a difficult one. It started around December 06, 1983. Mary Schaefer was so moved by Doe's funeral that was on TV that she wanted to give her a tombstone. Mary and Charles Schaefer were owners of Schaefer Monument Co. in Florissant. They had hoped to do the project by Christmas and wanted to give a granite marker. However, cemetery officials and a bureaucratic mix-up halted the generosity. 



Washington Park Cemetery told Schaefer Monument Co. that the stone could not be placed as the medical examiner's office believed it was "inappropriate." Dr. George Gantner, the chief medical examiner, said he got a letter asking why his office would not permit the marker. 


Around February 1984, Mike Baumer, the teacher of the English students of Community High School in Livingston, Ill, and the 15 students started a letter-writing campaign to the St. Louis Medical examiner's office and cemetery officials to get them to agree to move the stone. It was successful.

Dr. George Gantner, Chief Medical Examiner, thought the stone was inappropriate, and even after the letter and agreement to place the stone said, "I think it still may be inappropriate to place a marker on the girl's grave. but I have no objections to the stone being moved there." Gantner also said, "really, the police and cemetery officials" should decide. Homicide Detective Sgt. Herb Riley said police had "no objections at all." https://www.newspapers.com/clip/99949246/springfield-leader-and-press/

Schaefer Monument Co. thanked the high school students. The class went to the gravesite on May 10ths, 1984, and decorated it with red, pink, and white carnations. "We know that this young girl went through a living hell, but will remain in heaven forever,' said Livingston student Michael Darnell, 17, as he read a prayer he had written"





Another story in 2001 mentions the school children again.


The stone donated cost 300.00 and had engraved pictures of angels in white granite. Mrs. Schaefer chose an epitaph from a book "The saddened hearts were healed in knowing the pain of life is over, and the beauty of the soul revealed."  They left a space on the marker for her name.



The only problem was that it had been placed on top of the wrong grave.


The cemetery began to overgrow and fall apart. The owner was accused of mismanagement of the bodies and cemetery. The state attorney general sued her over botched burials. In addition, there had been accounts of vandals digging up graves. The owner of the graveyard, Virginia Younger, suffered hardships in her life and succumbed to suicide in 1991. Shortly afterward, the cemetery becomes entirely defunct. 

The assistant manager of the cemetery was Ginni Younger in 1984. The cemetery had been disturbed by the city's growth and construction over the years, and many bodies had already been moved. (Crossover to another case Linda Sherman) https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/new-hope-in-cold-case-of-decapitated-girl-found-in-st-louis-but-now-wheres/article_ef7aca67-2f9f-5c76-9516-4285802f338f.html




Sometime around 2004, Joe Burgoon was afraid Doe’s burial would be lost after he died. So, he videotaped the location where her site and marker were supposed to be for police records. . https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

Around 2009 Tom Carroll, a police detective, wanted to exhume Doe. Then it was discovered that Doe's gravesite was missing, and the donated marker sat on top of a grave with three bodies, and none of them belonged to her. Also, in 2009 the cemetery gained a new owner Kevin Bailey who purchased the land for only 2.00 because his father was buried there. 



Extra Sleuthing: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-st-louis-detective-gets-prison-term-for-a-beating-prosecutors-helped-cover-up/article_0f08f50b-0c11-5b5f-9fef-1271cd54dcbd.html

The people looking for Doe's grave began to grow, starting with the cemetery's new owner Kevin Bailey. Bailey got help from Calvin Whitaker and his wife, Christina. Calvin is a funeral director and owns the St. Louis Livery Service, which transports bodies to morgues. He heard about the hunt for Doe's grave, and Whitaker joined the search. The group kept getting more prominent and the search more intense. Volunteers and experts from Washington University and the University of Notre Dame, the St. Louis City Medical Examiner's Office, and the police were all helping. They needed to prove where she was before digging a second time. 

The only reason our Little Doe was found again was because of the power of love and dedication. Eventually, the group looking for Doe gains a boost in help from Ed Sedej and his original photographs of the funeral and the expertise of Abby Stylianou. Stylianou has used those photos and aerial images to locate the original burial spot. (Their story for the search for Doe is impressive. Unfortunately, this account glosses over the achievement, but extra reading is highly recommended about these heroes!) 





Extra Sleuthing: How old photos were used https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Finding-Jane-Doe%3A-A-forensic-application-of-2D-Stylianou-Abrams/ff5670bea11c557a15b00e719736e0dcd4cc2f33

Doe was finally found after five hours of digging, and her body was transported to the medical examiner's office, ready for new testing. They double-checked everything they could to make sure they had found her.

"Growth plate. It's not even fused," said Stephen McCoy, a medical examiner's death investigator, confirming that these bones were not fully grown. 

Once that testing was complete, Doe was reburied along with a funeral that was fit for a princess. 


https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2909093859368408 (Video clip from news about the exhuming) 

The burial took place on February 08, 2014, on a Saturday at 10:00 AM. Like the first time Doe was buried, the day was gray and gloomy but with less mud this time and instead snowy. The new burial location is The Garden Of Innocents. A nonprofit organization that cares for unknown victims. The gravesite was donated by them at their garden in Calvary Cemetery. 



Rebeca Navarro-McKelvey is the founder of the organization, and they were the ones that donated the flowers for this funeral as well. Doe's flowers were white and pink again, but this time they were real pink roses and white lilies nearly the size of her casket. 

Doe's previous granite white marker did not fit the Calvary regulations, so it stays at the previous burial location as a memorial marker. Doe is given the name of Hope, and it is engraved along with other children on a marker at the Garden of Innocents. 

Doe's new casket is now metal, and it was donated to her by Calvin Whitaker, who had kept this casket in his garage while he helped search for Doe's lost gravesite. The casket is beautiful and better fitting for a little girl we all love. It is white and has brass or gold trim and brass or golden angels on the corners. 



Decon Peter Gounis preceded, and this time more than 50-60 people attended Hope Doe's funeral services this time. The detectives wondered if her family or killer had come to the service, but it seemed it was only locals who had adopted Hope in their hearts. "It's been bothering me ever since '83," said Marilynn Schepker of Fenton, as tears filled her eyes. "That poor little thing, nobody knows who she is. I feel so sorry for her. It's just heartbreaking that someone could not miss a little girl."

Little Doe (Autopsy number 441-83)  (Graphic Photos/Description Warning) 

Doe has many nicknames, and one official name, "Hope," was used at her second burial. Also known as Little Doe, Little Jane Doe, Precious Hope, Lily, Sweater Girl, The Girl Nobody Seems To Miss, Baby Jane Doe, Sweet Girl, and more. 

Doe's case is unique because of her age and the brutality involved. The FBI had said this was the country's only decapitation involving a young child.

"The FBI could find nothing to compare to our case anywhere in the United States." 



The autopsy and media often describe the postmortem mutilation of Hope's body over what she had endured while alive. Unfortunately, leading the postmortem decapitation obscures essential information about the murder. 

Dr. Joyce M. Carter offered to read Doe's autopsy report and give an independent forensic opinion of the autopsy in 2022. You can watch clips of this in the documentary. 

Dr. Carter is a forensic autopsy, anatomic, and clinical pathology employment consultant, author, lecturer, expert witness, and independent pathologist. Dr. Carter is also the first African-American Chief Medical Examiner in the history of the USA. 

Dr. Carter was unfamiliar with the case, and her initial reading of the report shed insight without her knowing any other details that nobody else had discussed. 

If you are sensitive, this is your warning to skip ahead in the reading. I sat through a walkthrough of the autopsy report courtesy of Bird, who directed and created the documentary. Once we were done, I shut off the zoom call and cried. I have cried every time I've had to write up these details. To know what Hope went through in her final moments is genuinely heartbreaking. Yet, we must honor the truths of this case in the hope that we can bring this baby her name back and hopefully have closure. 

On the day of discovery, it is well documented that she is preserved because of the cold basement. 



Doe had been carried into the room, and the detectives knew this because there were streaks/drips of blood on the stone foundation. Then she was laid on her stomach on top of a rotten wooden board. A minimal amount of blood was on this wooden board. The wood was nothing special, just an old piece that could have fallen from the building itself.

"There is a rectangular indentation over the abdomen which measures 5cm in width and sets obliquely from left lower chest to upper right quadrant." * This is from lying on the wooden board. 

(Clip from Autopsy Report)

Doe's hands were tied behind her back with a red and white rope "that was wrapped around," according to Joe Burgoon. Doe was nude except for the yellow V-neck sweater with long sleeves. The hands being pulled back would have restricted breathing due to the tightness of the rib cage and chest. 

There was minimal blood at the scene. Almost all of the blood had been drained from Hope's body elsewhere. Because of this and the blood on the walls, Burgoon believed she had been killed not too long before she had been brought there. 

It had been said that Doe was found under trash or debris. However, in an interview, Joe Burgoon clarified that Doe had not been concealed, and there had been no attempt to hide her body under anything.


According to the eye witness who had gone with the teen boys back to the discovery, Doe had been hidden under leaves initially, but this was removed when the group went to look at the body before the police arrived. 

There was ash, dirt, asbestos, dampness, and debris from the house around the room. This is seen in photos, and some of the debris is documented on the autopsy report because there was some on the sweater. 

Doe's feet are pointed to the front entrance, and her head area is to the back. She is lying face down on her stomach with her hands behind her back. The blood drips/smears on the wall going into the room are on the same side as her head. Someone had carried her only 36 feet and placed her about 2 1/2' from the room's entrance. There was a 12' drop in elevation as you entered the room. 

At first, Doe was mistaken for being a prostitute until she was turned over. Then it was apparent she was a child not having reached puberty. 

When her body was discovered, she was then wrapped in a white sheet, described in the autopsy report by Dr. Carter. It is also important to note that during this time era they reused body bogs. 

Doe's autopsy was performed in the morgue by Dr. Mary Case the following day after her discovery. Dr. Case was interviewed in the documentary but did not have any notable information to share except that she remembers the case since people occasionally ask about it. 

It is often said that Doe was tall for her age; however, we do not know how Dr. Case measured Doe. The media said 4'10 from decapitation to heel or toe. However, her official autopsy report only says the residual length of the body is 58 inches. Therefore, hope could have been of average height in life or slightly tall for her age, depending on how she was measured. Dr. Cater suggested looking at the measurement of her feet for a more accurate representation of her statue; however, there were no food measurements on the autopsy. However, this info could still be obtained as we know she had footprints taken. 

Doe's age is estimated with as young as six or as old as twelve. She had not gone through puberty and did not have breasts at all and no pubic hair. Hope's birth would have been around the late 1970s or early 1980s. 

Doe's body weighed 61 pounds on her autopsy report. There has been much talk about how underweight Hope was, but since this is residual body weight, she would have weighed a bit more in life, but any reports on what that is being estimated. Doe was thin and had an empty stomach except for the small amount of blood she had swallowed. Doe had not eaten anything for up to eight hours before her death. The medical examiner had found no old wounds, broken bones, or scars, and she still had her appendix. 



Doe was African-American, and her skin color was dark to medium complexion. Dr. Carter remarked that on the autopsy, it was marked that livor mortis was inapparent. However, because there was a lack of training in this era for black skin, it was often reported that livor mortis could not be detected because they were unfamiliar with examing black skin. 

There had been speculation that Doe may have Spina bifida. However, this is not true. Burgoon and Dr. Carter dismissed these claims, and it is unclear where the rumor started. There was an infant Jane Doe in the news around 1983. This may be where the mixup/rumor began because that baby had spina bifida.




There was postmortem skin slip on the knees and thighs. Also, there was no hemorrhage under the ligatures, and there was skin slip around the ligatures. Dr. Carter also mentions that white tape/dust was left around the feet, but the report does not go further. Carter assumes it might have been an attempt to keep Doe's feet together as she feels Doe was probably squirming and moving anything that she could. 

Doe had short nails with chipped nail polish in two coats, both shades of red. This nail polish made Lt. Scott Aubuchon, head of the St. Louis Metro Homicide Division 2020, think that Doe had been well cared for. 

There is no nail polish on the toenails. 



Doe's autopsy remarked that she had "washer woman" hands, which means she had wrinkling skin due to the damp environment. 

Fingerprints, palms prints, and feet prints were taken of Doe, and whole body x-rays and some hair were taken from the nape of her neck. They processed the body for latent prints. Dr. Carter says they took two swabs and smears from the vagina. Fingernail polish scrapings were taken, and it is unclear if that was under the fingernails or if that was the nail polish. DNA had been collected. Later after being exhumed, Doe had a second DNA profile made from her bone sample. 




As of 2021, Investigators have yet to find the close family via Doe's DNA. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98083028/st-louis-post-dispatch/

Hope's cause of death has never been straightforward in the media. It was rumored that she did not have a cause of death listed. However, the autopsy does list one. "Homicidal Violence" Followed by "postmortem mutilation"

Some news articles where police and medical examiners attempted to avoid answering exactly how she had died.


The report mentions strangulation and indicates this is the cause of death. Joe Burgoon describes how bruising had been found around her neck area, which led to the conclusion that she had been strangled first and then decapitated from the back at her neck. Dr. Carter describes this bruising and mentions a fingerprint bruise indicating the strangulation was manual. The way it was done indicates a right-handed or ambidextrous killer.  

 The decapitation happens after death. In order of events, however, Hope was brutally sexually assaulted, strangled, and then postmortem decapitation. 

Hope's autopsy report confirmed the sexual assault. This topic was another unclear aspect of her case. Considering the intense violence of the assault, it is shocking that this is the least reported aspect of her story. Again, it is important to note how young Doe is because she did not even have pubic hair. 

Hope had multiple tears. A tear of 1.5 centimeters of the posterior fourchette. (That is between the vagina and anus.) 

A 4-centimeter tear goes into the vagina, which is described as almost transmural. "Along the right wall lateral wall of the vagina, is a 4cm long vaginal tear." 

There was bruising of the sigmoid colon (this turns out and forms the rectum) 

Dr. Carter clarified that Doe experienced while alive because of the hemorrhage in tears. Blood had also dripped down on her thigh from these injuries. This would have only happened if she had been alive. 

The violence did not stop there for Hope. While alive, she experienced trauma to her head area that was so great that it caused her to aspirate and swallow some blood. 

There had been semen on Doe's body outside the pubic area. This, again, was another unclear topic about her case.


This little girl was hungry, tied so she could not breathe very well, fought with her legs to the point they may have been restrained, and sexually assaulted so violently she had bruises, tearing, and bleeding. After all this, she suffers trauma to her face and head area (Maybe a forceful punch that fractures bones), and she swallows and aspartates on her blood. Hope's last moments on earth were being violently strangled. 

Burgoon explains that the Crime Lab did perform a rape kit. Burgoon explains they had "found something" but could not prove it and said it was not something they could type. "In those days, we didn't have DNA." In a 2004 article during the time Tom Carroll had the case, it was reported that the semen was tested but didn't contain DNA. 


Dr. Carter reads the description of the autopsy by the examiner, and it says, "Dried white clear apparent secretions" Were swabbed and submitted as evidence. 

Joe Burgoon also confirms the presence of pubic hair found on Doe. However, it was only one little pubic hair, white in color. It was located along Doe's groin area. Dr. Carter clarifies the white hair in the autopsy report as "white hair adherent to the inner aspect of the right thigh." 

Later in a 2004 article, when Tom Carroll worked the case, he was convinced the pubic hair came from one of the people on the scene. "I'd lay money down that it came from one of us," Carroll says. This same article said the hair was tested but didn't have enough DNA to do anything with it. 


Sgt. Homicide Detective Brian McGlynn said that lab work had been done on the hair "it didn't lead to anything." McGlynn also points out that the origin of the hair is unknowable because of that. However, they did know that the hair belonged to a caucasian and that DNA was "worked" on the sample. (again, to mention that in that time era, they reused body bags, and Doe had been wrapped in a white sheet after discovery) 

The decapitation had taken place post-mortem. It was long assumed that Hope's head was removed cleanly down to the shoulders. This is not true. Doe had some of her neck residually available, and there was some information. 

The initial severing point was between C2-C3 with a very sharp instrument since the cuts were neatly divided. 

C4 was partially severed. 

C5 was partly right-half severed. 

"The decapitation has taken present between levels of c-2 and c-3 with c-3 remaining attached to the body." 

(Clip from autopsy report)

The decapitation had a slant downward to the right from c3 of the spine to the front at shoulder level. 

However, the cutting edge of the skin is not all in one plane, with a nearly horizontal 5cm incised wound extending from the midline and downward and toward the left. 

Dr. Carter says the description is neatly divided, but it could have been neater and notes; maybe they needed more fury to get the head off or more knowledge to get the separations. But, it would take a heavy-bladed instrument with a sharp edge. 

No official sources have stated precisely what instrument could have done this. Instead, there have been many speculations by professionals, media, and laypeople. Joe Burgoon, in an interview, ruled out a carving knife as the tool that removed the head. "The Doctor said it was a serrated knife long blade it cut through the bone." "thought there might be striation marks on the bone." Dr. Carter suggested a heavy-bladed instrument with a sharp edge like a hatchet. A mold report later suggests a cleaver as the tool possibly used.

There had been a fragment of green paint in the cut marks. The experts do not know where this green paint could have come from, but Dr. Mary Case did say she submitted this part of the bone and the green paint for evidence. 


There was a mold report that also remarks on the possible decapitation instrument. The documentary releases a clip from the mold report. 

"Please note that the isolation and growth that we reported of Thamnidium species (probably elegans) is not a common fungus that we isolate from humans or as a contaminant. It may well be that of the source of the fungus may have from the instrument (i.e. cleaver) used to decapitate the girl. It should be noted this fungus has been reported isolated from meat and animal products." 

Initially, the investigators estimated Hope had been dead only 2-3 days before her body discovery. Later, they had mold tests done and had a more accurate timeline. 

Missouri Botanical Gardens took the light white mold growing from her neck and the skin slippage from her knees and put it in a petri dish. This mold is remarked in the autopsy report. "Whitish mold, appearing furry and feathery, is found over the abdomen, over the stump of the neck, and over the right anterior thigh" It measured approximately 1.5 to 2cm in height." 

They discovered the mold grew in about five days giving the timeline for Doe's body being in the house 4-5 days. 

This mold was also studied at Saint Louis University Hospitals Microbiology Lab from March 2nd, 1983, to March 4th, 1983, with three plates and six slats.

 Hope was naked except for the sweater and rope. The sweater has been described many ways over the years, but it was a light yellow orlon with long sleeves and a v-neck. Many photos of the sweater available now have been edited to enhance or attempt to hide or show the blood. In addition, the editing smooths out the fine details of the sweater. The sweater is considered new or in good shape because it had no pilling and even had crease marks in it from where it had been previously folded. 

In addition, the sweater does not appear to have drag marks, and the blood down the front and arm is minimal and most likely pooling from lying. In the documentary interview Sgt. McGlynn was asked if he thought the sweater was on her when she had been decapitated. He couldn't say for sure, but he felt the answer was yes due to the amount of blood and the pattern. 

The autopsy reports that the sweater was yellow and had rotting wood debris with leaves on it. There is pink, brown discoloration in the neck area and on the back of the body. Part of the left sleeve is bound in with the restraints. This can be seen in the photos. 

Bird Sosa, the documentary director, was particularly interested in recreating the vintage sweater. After much research, he found the exact sweater and had it professionally worked by an artist to show how it was on Hope. In the documentary, he presents professionals with the shirt, and they all confirm he has found a replica. 

Burgoon confirms that there was only one manufacturer of that sweater. They would sell it to vendors and sew in their labels. The sweater has been described as a loose fit for Doe and does appear to be a men's fit.

The brand found for the documentary was "Robert Bruce," and it was available at the time and area in stores like "Famous Barr, Sears, JC Penny, and Stix, Baer & Fuller for around twelve dollars and fourteen dollars.


The label was black and had been ripped out or cut out. Burgoon said it had been cut out. Non-altered photos will show the four corners of the square black label still in the sweater. 

The sweater is described as dirty and scuffed with dirt/mud. 

"With four small fragments of black label present in the back of the neck where the label had been attached." 

The rope around Doe's hands was red, white, and heavy/stiff. The first news article suggested it was a jump rope, and then later, it indicated it was a rope similar to a boating rope. It also seems like there is no blood on the ropes per visual appearance. 

The autopsy report confirms that the rope is heavy nylon* (not nylon later discovered)  and red and white braided. It also confirms the wrapped-around effect calling it "multiple in circles." Skin slippage occurs around the ligatures, but there is no hemorrhage in the underlying skin around the ligatures. 



"Torn out" https://www.newspapers.com/clip/65794369/little-jane-doe-1983-unsolved-murder/

"Nylon" https://www.newspapers.com/clip/65795736/jane-doe-1983-murder-decapitation/

"Cut Label" 




"Light Yellow"


The rope went under the same scrutiny by Bird Sosa for the documentary, and the rope turned out to not be Nylon but rather a polypropylene or polyethylene ski braided rope. It was about 6'-10' long with no knots, and it was crudely lashed. "The turns at the wrist are deliberate; the outer ones are rushed." Most likely not meant for restraint, but load barring. 

Sgt. McGlynn said he had gotten the same analysis from somebody in the military about the rope. 

The New Testing

June 2013-January 21st, 2014 (Estimated)

Dr. Michael Graham, St. Louis City Medical Examiner, approved the exhuming and testing. The testing was considered a long shot, but since they had planned to fix up her burial site and maybe move her to a better location anyway, they decided to try this testing. The test was a bone sample that would be sent to the University of North Texas. They could extract better DNA and use minerals in the bones to narrow down her living regions by the water she drank. In addition, they have advanced DNA testing and could match results to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 


The DNA testing confirmed the profile that was already previously made. 


Testing by the University of North Texas for NamUS showed these states Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, or North Carolina. https://youtu.be/8okFxU6pkko





The Smithsonian Institution also examined Doe free of charge at the request of Dan Fox. Isotope Testing by the Smithsonian for NCMEC showed she may have lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. 




There is some confusion about the states. Some will post only a few, and others post them all together. The reason being is that people do not realize the states are the results of two different tests together. They might only see one report. The state of Mississippi is sometimes mentioned in a few news articles but does not indicate which place tested for it. https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/research-unlocks-some-secrets-about-decapitated-girl-for-st-louis-detective/article_36de5a5c-b615-5292-b5aa-abb99a888a6c.html#tncms-source=login

Keeping things in the public eye

 The detectives consistently worked hard to make sure that Doe was not forgotten. They took the opportunity to give interviews or send the story to newspapers. Burgoon would ask the FBI to run the case through their systems, and he would send bulletins every year on her deathiversary. Appearing on TV shows from "Oprah Winfrey" to things like "Sightings." 

Today armchair detectives and True-Crime followers have taken up the mantle to keep her story alive. Countless blogs and passion projects talk about Doe. I encourage you to join us and help get her story out there. 

Extra Sleuthing: 

Mini-Documentary with older footage, but the footage is not labeled. 2020 Bright Ghost Productions


The Use of Psychics

One of the more puzzling sides to this case is the frequent use of psychics. Looking only through the lens of today, it seems absurd but knowing that the case had nothing at all to propel it forward, it can easily be seen why the investigators kept an open mind about any opportunities that could help. 

A group of psychics arrived to view the body in the cold room, but nothing came of it.


Joe Burgoon describes his experience with psychics. He kept an open mind and explained he went to one place that had a table full of them. One decided her head was on a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico. This lead ended up being a dead end as it was vague. 


Sharon Nolte / Mystery Woman / Anonymous Woman 

According to the news, Sharon Nolte was from Kansas City, MO, and contacted the detectives herself. Unfortunately, the newspapers did not cast her in the kindest light; however, she did genuinely attempt to help Doe like in the past cases she had previously worked. Nolte had helped recover 35 missing children. 

Despite the news reporting her as a psychic, her obituary says she worked hard in logical business as an owner of "Nolte Consultations" and worked in fraud and forgery investigation. Nolte also worked with Rose Law Firm IN Little Rock, Arkansas, and Llyods Of London. Nolte also was a licensed instructor for the California Bar association for fraud and forgery investigations. 


The paper reported her at first as just the mysterious woman or an anonymous woman. Then, Nolte suggested Doe was a child named Shannon Johnson and may have been Chippewa. Next, Nolte collected DNA herself from possible relatives and even visited whom she thought was the killer. Nolte spent 20,000 of her own money on the case. Finally, Nolte managed pubic hair from the killer and had the private lab test the DNA. However, the tests came back negative. 

"I don't give a rat's ass about the police department. I think they stink," she says. "I told them who she was and who killed her, and they never did anything with it. I had a bag full of the killer's pubic hair. Do you know how difficult it is to collect a bag full of pubic hair?"


Unfortunately, Nolte was unable to finish her seven-year investigation after falling ill. Then she passed away on April 12, 2013, in Shawnee, Kansas. It is evident she was beloved and a kind, thoughtful soul. 


Noreen Renier / Sightings 

On November 20th, 1994, Burgoon and Adkins agreed to appear on the “Sightings” TV show which was national. In a 2021 interview, Burgoon said it was Adkins's idea. Adkins had thought it might help the case by bringing publicity to it. 

This is a link to a video clip from the show after the fox news report of Doe's body being exhumed. 


Both Burgoon and Adkins appear in the show and talk about Doe, but they do not leave Saint Louis. Then they sit and connect with psychic Noreen Renier by phone. Renier then touches the rope and sweater and talks with detectives as if she is Doe. The account is specific and implies that Doe's mother was an addict, the killer Doe's teacher with a dishonorable discharge, and even tells detectives she was killed by a river next to a bridge with a B name. Finally, they create a killer sketch from psychic visions. 

Prior to the show, they had mailed the psychic the sweater and rope. They never got them back. The evidence was lost in the mail. Burgoon said he called in 2020, and she said that she had sent it via registered mail. However, there is some confusion about whom Joe Burgoon called. The psychic herself or one of the show's producers? It is also unclear if law enforcement followed up on the lost mail with the USPS

Burgoon said the situation was embarrassing. 

Several reputable sites indicate that Renier's responsibility was to send the sweater back. Some will cite that she was aware of the sweater/rope and says it must have gotten lost in the mail. It is unclear whose responsibility it was to mail the evidence back.



When a package got lost in transit, it would have gone to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia, or handled locally. In 1992 the place was called the Dead Letter Office, but it had been changed to reflect the goal of getting the mail where it should go. Sometimes the place is nicknamed the USPS "Lost and Found." After a while, valuable objects are auctioned off, and the rest are destroyed. 



Renier has a website and continues her psychic work today. Though she no longer works on TV shows, she does, however, still needs to touch objects to do her work. On her website, the protocol for getting an item back includes sending a prepaid self-addressed envelope for the items. 


Noreen Renier is a self-proclaimed psychic. Renier's life and exploits are hard to find all in one spot because they span a good deal of years. Renier was divorced around May 16, 1992, and she has two daughters. Renier worked in public relations in an Orlando Hotel, and then she began to dress in a [Romani] styled costume to do readings in cocktail lounges. Eventually, she went to full-time psychic work. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1992-05-17-9205141059-story.html

Noreen claims to have worked on over 600 unsolved cases and calls herself a psychic detective. Renier takes on some higher-profile cases, including, most recently, Laci Peterson. The article for this alleged reading is on the site Noreenrenier.com. At the bottom of the purple pages reads, "All content (except articles) @Noreen Renier Please ask permission to reproduce images or text." https://noreenrenier.com/media/articles/prayersforlacy.htm


She catalogs her TV appearances, articles, and services on Renier's site. 

A 1992 news article written by a reporter who went to Renier's apartment in Maitland at the time describes Renier retrieving cases from her closet. "Inside is a bloody towel from the very scene in the pictures. She leaves this gruesome souvenir in my hands -why didn't the police need it back? she doesn't know -and dives back into the closet. She comes out with an evidence bag containing a screwdriver from another murder. "I don't really know why they send me this stuff," she says.

"All I really need is the first name of the victim and the crime."

Renier is 85 years old in 2022 and is only semi-retired in Virginia. https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-busch-beer-cold-case-murder


Renier has gained some national notoriety as a psychic and has appeared on several TV shows, including "Sightings" and "Psychic Detectives." Renier will offer her psychic services for a fee usually paid by desperate families and victims' loved ones. The fee for Renier to work with a police detective is currently 750.00, and the session is one to two hours. On her site, there is a quote, 

"I do not mind skepticism. However, continued skepticism and negativism hampers my work and concentration. Retired NY Detective Lieutenant Commander Vernon Geberth, writing about my psychic abilities in his book PRACTICAL HOMICIDE INVESTIGATIONS, states: "Practically speaking, if an officer feels that he or she cannot accept or work with the psychic, then this officer should not get involved in this segment of the investigation. Instead, someone who may be skeptical, but is able to put aside this personal prejudice, should be assigned to work with the psychics." (Geberth, p 423)"




Renier's method of touching objects close to the case to see images has been consistent throughout the years. If you send something to her and you want it back, you must include a self-addressed envelope with prepaid shipment for the items to be shipped back. This was done even in the Peterson case. 




Extra Sleuthing Sources:


Merrell V. Renier Case



Renier conduct with Kimberly McAndrew Case https://skepticalinquirer.org/2017/07/psychic-detective-noreen-renier/

Did Noreen Keep The Evidence? 

The documentary reached out to Noreen for an interview, but she declined. However, she did say that she had absolutely sent the items back. 

The documentary then asked Sgt. McGlynn about the situation, and it stuns everyone. "Poor old Noreen." Sgt. McGlynn then goes on to say that he had spoken to her and that he had a receipt showing that Noreen did indeed mail "something" back to Police Headquarters. The documentary asked if they could have a copy of the signed postal evidence slip and Sgt. McGlynn stuns everyone further by saying, "there's a guy that signed for it that's still on the Police Department." 

Were there any suspects?

There were no officially named suspects in this case. However, investigators did express their theories, hunches, and ideas to the press on occasion. 

Several investigators speculated that the girl's family may have killed her early into the investigation. They could not understand why nobody reported her missing or claimed her. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98045435/the-kansas-city-star/


A few investigators thought that certain prolific serial killers had done the deed. Vernon Brown and Tommy Lynn Sells, for example. These killers were interviewed, but nothing came of the interactions. They are not 100% ruled out, but there is no evidence either. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98066151/st-louis-post-dispatch/


Joe Burgoon did not think her case was connected to any serial killers but he didn't discount the idea either. "Not that we are aware, not that we are aware, could be, but you just don't know." https://web.archive.org/web/20161001234716/https://www.kmov.com/story/33263882/news-4-investigates-fbi-taking-fresh-look-at-cold-case-of-decapitated-girl/

Detectives would take time to look into missing children's cases from around the country. Burgoon, for example, looked into a case from Chicago. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98066151/st-louis-post-dispatch/

Dr. Carter suggested that a serial killer rapist had killed Doe. 

Many professionals believe that Doe was killed by someone that knew her. 

Exclusions And Rule Outs

The teen boys, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Harris were questioned. They also provided samples multiple times throughout the years. They are ruled out. 

Burgoon looked into a case from Chicago. A 7 ½-year old girl was kidnapped in 1980.


Erica Green (Precious Doe KCMO) was Ruled out in several ways.




Charles R. Hatcher, serial killer and serial confessor. Hatcher had a list of aliases that was very long. Though his crimes span from '47-'82 and he should have been in prison during Doe's murder. Hatch hung himself in his cell in October 1983. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ray_Hatcher


Skull from East St. Louis was ruled out. The skull was found in  Virginia Park, 36 Street, and Converse Avenue. But it was quickly ruled out due to it being an adult skull. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97468919/doe-83-ruleout/

Joe Burgoon adamantly disagrees with theories that the killing was a ritual or sacrifice. https://youtu.be/8okFxU6pkko

Burgoon describes an incident involving 5635 Clemens. They got a call that someone was in the building and had found a gym bag along with an imprint in the dust. They searched the area again, thinking it might be something connected to the case. 


Burgoon tells of an incident where two ladies came to tell the police that a man three blocks away had a skull on the mantle and a machete. LE checked into the situation, and the skull was a medical grade one from a high school given to the man. The machete was just a prop. 


Skull collector was ruled out. In March 1993, police confiscated a skull from Danny Davis of Pagedale. The skull was kept in his storage shed on St. Charles Rock Road. Davis said he bought the skull for 35.00 in the late ’70s from a souvenir-gift shop near Northwest Plaza. Davis was told the skull was that of an Indian girl killed by a tomahawk. Forensic testing proved that the skull was ancient. (Case crossed over to Linda Sherman) Burgoon describes this incident in his 2021 interview.





Burgoon mentions one lead and rules out, "they were going to rehab, and they found a blood mattress." Once they followed that lead, the child in question was found, and they were found. 


A bizarre exclusion in 2002. A Kansas City insurance investigator claimed to have met Doe’s killer. The mystery woman believed Doe was [an Indigenous girl] and collected DNA on behalf of her beliefs privately. The police were sympathetic to her and looked into her investigation but said they found nothing. The DNA was tested, and the results came back negative. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/91260746/nov-1-2002/


October 25th, 2004 (Estimated)

Tom Carroll runs fingerprints of a missing Jamaican girl against Jane Doe's. The prints were tested in '88, but they wanted to re-test. Carroll also tested the family DNA of 12 families of missing children that seemed like they would match Doe around 2004. They were all ruled out. https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

Similar Cases / Coincidences / Possible Killers (Not Ruled Out)

Tommy Lynn Sells is a killer who was interviewed by investigators. Sells, however, was a serial confessor as well. Officially he can’t be ruled out even though he was interviewed by St. Louis Investigators. 



Vernon Brown, the killer, was suspected of being Doe's murderer. Brown went to his execution without disclosing if he did kill Doe.




In June 2004, an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a rest area in Warren County. Also, listed in NCIC.


An epidemic of missing black girls goes unnoticed in mainstream media. Especially, from Chicago in the 1980s. 


A child's skull is unidentifiable by an anthropologist from the University of Missouri. The skull was found in May 1984 in Clay County near Lawson. The assistant professor of forensic anthropology and director of the Human skeletal Identification Laboratory at Columbia said the examination of teeth in the skull proved inconclusive. The Skull was a child 9 years old and had been dead for about two years. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98085499/child-skull/ (Sent a few e-mails to see if this article and this unidentified girl are connected. https://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMU/1104257/1/screen

On August 21, 1984, the Road crew finds skulls, bones, and 5 wooden crates. The site was B Bridgeton, where the Interstate 70 interchange is being replaced. They suspect these were pauper's burials or had been reburied from elsewhere or used for medical study. Some bones had saw cuts indicating medical study. At least eight crates were found, and five of them had remains. One crate had as many as seven bodies. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98089628/wtf/

Berkeley Skull, Possible human skull found on the Missouri River near a boat ramp. December 12, 2020


Skull In Lot,1994 East St. Louis Skull found in the 1900 block of North 23rd Street. This skull was sent to a Crime Lab. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98098722/st-louis-post-dispatch

St. Vincent Park again has another skull find. 7335 St. Charles Rock Road. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98098830/st-louis-post-dispatch/

Samuel Ivery, a 35-year-old man sentenced to death for beheading a woman in Mobile, Ala. Ivery is a suspect in the 1992 beheadings of two women in East St. Police checked into him in connection with Doe, but it was only briefly mentioned in a paper. 




Maury Troy Travis is a serial killer who took pride in this work and claimed to have murdered as many as 17 women. Travis would have been very young around the time of Doe's death. Travis committed suicide in prison. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maury_Travis#Known_victims

Phyllis Mayes Griffin's daughter Tamadj L. Griffin was brutally murdered on July 25, 1992. The teen was beheaded behind the counter of a dry cleaning shop where she worked. 

Lisa Ricks, 31, was found behind a pharmacy in the 2100 block of State Street also beheaded on July, 15th, 1992. 

Police Chief Alonza Perrin said it looked like the same person committed the killings. 

Two suspects in the cases are Samuel Ivery, who may have been seen on video attacking Debra Lewis at the gas station she worked at. Lewis had been beheaded. 

Gerald Williams, an ex-convict charged with threatening women in a bank parking lot with a large knife. July 10, 1992







Chelsea Jane Doe or Lisa 2000's, found in the back parking lot at the Chelsea Soldier's Home was her mutilated headless body. The killer was caught, but her identification is unknown. She may have been a former foster child or child sex trafficking victim. https://www.boston25news.com/news/missing-and-forgotten-the-search-for-chelsea-jane-does-identity/755316004/


Jan 5th, 1983 

Including this account of a young girl of SA because of the timeframe and her age. 


Jan 07, 1983 

Including this account because of the age of the children involved and the possibility of an unwatched/unknown child belonging to the couple. Plus, the unnatural violence against children and strangulation. The mother Iris E. Merritt may have been arrested in St. Louis on suspicion of abandoning a child in 1977. This case propels the legislatures to approve an overhaul of children's services. 





January 21, 1983 

Toddler Shanda Sue Troxell was found in a suitcase bound, gagged, blindfolded, and left at a hospital trashcan in a dumpster. The child was alive and well and reunited with her parents briefly, but LE retook custody because her mother may have been involved in a prostitution ring. The child and parents were from Springfield, Illinois. The girl was left behind at Central Medical Center, 3300 North Kingshighway. (Roughly 10 mins from Doe's Body location) Two suspects were involved; one was arrested, and the other was being searched. Mary M. Horton, 24 years old, was arrested at her home in Springfield. Later, the situation may have occurred because of two rival prostitution rings. 



Child Sex Ring Busted 


January 27th, 1983 

Police raid an apartment in north St. Louis for making pornos. Jimmy Lee Bowdry, 46, and Martin Davis, 30, both of the 3900 block of Page Boulevard. Both had charges of promoting prostitution. Bowdry was also charged with child abuse and receiving stolen property. 


Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole, almost always suggested unsolved cases around this time. Unfortunately, these men are serial confessors as well. 

Samuel Little, a serial killer from Texas who killed in the 70's-90's and traveled. Little killed in East St. Louis before. ViCAP at 800-634-4097. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Little#Suspected_murder_victims

A list from Wiki of 1983 murders. It’s obviously not an extensive list but does have some interesting possibilities for unidentified serial killers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1983_murders_in_the_United_States

(NCMEC Number 1104360ME/C Case NumberCITY-1983-0441) 

Exclusions From NameUS which is reputable are; (Updated 2022)

Sherri Truesdale 6/13/1970 North Carolina

Beverly Ward 7/04/1978 Kansas

Yohanna Cyr 12/28/1976 Montreal, Canada

Telethia Good 9/10/1978 Maryland

Sherise Magee 8/1/1975 Nevada

Nikole Betterson 12/01/1977 Michigan

Toya Hill 3/24/1982 Maryland

Sheila Quinn 2/27/1980 Illinois

Shaunda Green 10/15/1983 Michigan

Sharaun Cole 2/25/1983 New York

Newton County (IN) Jane Doe UP6107

Northampton County NC Jane Doe

Erline Pierce was 91 years old and murdered in 2019 by head trauma, and then her home was set on fire. Pierce would take people into her home and care for them and has done so for years. She lived 900 block of Riverview Boulevard



Investigations What Has Been Done?  (Work in Progress Always Section) 

February 28th, 1983 

Every section of the sewer system from Hamilton Avenue to Union Boulevard, from Delmar to St. Louis Avenue, from Hodiamont to Union, and Delmar to Natural Bridge.Goodfellow as well. Including Roof and trash. A 16-block radius around the apartment building is checked. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97441198/unsolved-murdersjane-doe-83/


Burgoon, confirms that interviews with people in the area started right away and that the apartments were being thoroughly searched. 

The area was searched. Up and down Clara Street, and even the local hospital, which was close by. 

February 28th, 1983- several years possibly still going.
One of the first steps was to investigate school districts for missing pupils, and that started in the area and expanded. St. Louis County, East St. Louis, and other districts then nationwide. 

The lists were rechecked in 1984. Two thousand letters were sent to school superintendents in Missouri and Illinois. The time frame is unknown. 

In 1986 an article mentioned that Riley and Burgoon had spent three years writing these letters and expanded into the nearby states. https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/01/28/Case-of-headless-girl-stymies-police-veteran/2277250405082/





Joe Burgoon used to send bulletins across the country every year on the deathiversary as well as teletypes to every Police department. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98045435/the-kansas-city-star/


Sent messages to police agencies with descriptions of the body and crime. First locally, then regionally, and then nationwide. Letters were also mailed to state police and highway patrol commanders across the country.




Consulted or listened to psychics. Psychics would also just telephone in because of the national attention the case was getting for a bit. 



A reward of 10,000 had been offered. (Other smaller rewards were offered throughout the years as well, but by different organizations) A reward was still available as of 2021, but the amount is just “substantial” 



1983 (Estimated) 

We know that Letters were sent to every state police agency in the nation, all with negative results. The time frame is unknown or it could be recurring. Each state has a clearinghouse, Burgoon explains, and he had a secretary that wrote to each state about the case. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/90896822/march-3-1994/


Investigators even put the word out about the case in Prisons through letters they wrote themselves. They hoped that Doe’s mother or father might see it.



Attended and spoke at community meetings about the case.


Adkins had at least 15 officers and detectives to work on the case when it was new.


A pathologist examined the bones of Doe.


Fifteen thousand flyers were placed on doors in St. Louis neighborhoods. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97441198/unsolved-murdersjane-doe-83/

Immigration authorities aided in the investigation on the chance the girl was Cuban or Haitian. The time frame for this help is unknown, but it’s possible that had been done by March 25, 1983. In 1986 it is still possible they had worked with the immigration office on and off for about three years. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/97441198/unsolved-murdersjane-doe-83/
Timeframe https://www.newspapers.com/clip/65795736/jane-doe-1983-murder-decapitation/


Letters from Adkins to every black newspaper and radio station in the country. 



According to Connie Marstiller of the National Crime Information Center's Database, (NCIC), Missouri has 45 active cases with unknown dead. Illinois has 139 cases. The cases started being entered in 1983 but do have some cases of early age. Participation is voluntary. Doe’s case is listed on this database, and she may have been one of nearly the first cases listed.


March 2nd, 1983

Police state they were unaware of any missing black children in the metropolitan area. LE checked missing person reports in the area, including the Metro East by March 2nd, 1983. Juvenile Division Officers confirmed none of the known 20 missing children in St. Louis at the time matched Doe. Eventually, they looked nationwide as well. 




February 28th, 1983 - December 02, 1983,

Adkins kept a chart on his office wall up until the time Doe was buried. It had a list of things that needed to be done and things that had already been done. Index cards held the names of people who had been questioned.


December 7th, 1983 

Doe's profile was added to Doenetwork.org, and it's being kept up to date. https://www.doenetwork.org/cases/54ufmo.html

1983-2001 (Estimated) 

Adkins wrote letters to the local news occasionally to remind them of the story he was doing this at least up until 2001. 


1984 (Estimated)

Some of the original detectives go back to the start in 1984 and retrace all the steps. Including the tedious school attendance lists again.


The aid to dependent children (Now Known as DFS) recipients list was also traced. They tracked down every child who matched Doe and was on welfare in the area she had been found. This list was double-checked in 1984. In an article, they referenced Riley and Burgoon still working on this aspect for three years in 1986. https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/01/28/Case-of-headless-girl-stymies-police-veteran/2277250405082/


National Center For Missing & Exploited Children (Created in 1984), Doe does have a profile here. The information on this site is outdated. (Contacted via email on 3/21/22 and asked them to update.) Doe was 2004 the only child without a photo.  https://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMU/1104360/1/screen

1985 (Estimated) 

In 1985 the program Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VCAP) was created. Doe’s case was one of the first ones entered into the list. Terry Green, a retired Oakland homicide detective, was in charge of the program, and he told Burgoon that he had never had another case like Doe’s in the USA that was recorded. 



2000 (Estimated)  

There had been a Myspace account set up to help find her killer, but the page was no longer accessible. 


2004 (Estimated)

Tom Carroll would scroll the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children website endlessly, looking for possible matches for Doe. When he thought there was a possible match, he’d call the family. Eleven of the twelve families gave their DNA to see if there was a match. The one family that didn’t, Carrol, got the local cops to get a DNA sample from the trash. https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

2005 (Estimated) 

Missouri will now collect DNA from all convicted felons, no matter the crime. https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/the-case-that-haunts/Content?oid=2460475&fbclid=IwAR30beEUYLJYkqER6L8SNFUT12sCr0wKH0yenoH4nMs9TiM6NeAU-LoF25A

January 29th, 2009 

Doe has a profile on NamUs as well. #UP3199 https://www.namus.gov/UnidentifiedPersons/Case#/3199

2013 (Estimated)

Burgoon tells us that Dan Fox had approached “Parabon,” a laboratory that can make facial recognition from DNA. Burgoon tells us this in 2021, and Dan Fox had been an investigator for Doe’s case around 2013.  


2020 (Estimated) 

The cold case unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department starts an investigation into Doe, and she has her own room dedicated to her case.

2021 (Estimated) 

At least twenty other children have been ruled out as Doe.


Some of Doe’s case files have been digitized. Previously, it was in binders, boxes, and notepads.


Investigators have yet to find relatives through DNA as of 2021. Burgoon said in a 2021 interview that he knew they were attempting to find family via DNA, but it was an ongoing process. 



SLMPD Cold Case Files has a youtube channel with info on cold cases, including Doe’s. https://youtu.be/Hk0QUamzBIw

Law enforcement alludes to the possibility that they are using private DNA banks. . https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/crime/byers-beat/st-louis-cold-case-baby-jane-doe-unsolved-murder/63-0a66c679-3136-4e40-9db7-bb99fbd7fcca?fbclid=IwAR3KLJA_P6dFtb0XKIuWSdpnClKrfZxCzWiOL8bXzxLwJqG7goqRgp7vKPo

March 29, 2022,

A Facebook group was made in Doe’s honor with the goal of collecting and sharing content about her. 


Herb Humphries mentions covering the "Headless Girl" story. There are also mentions in the paper that her story was on television. Since Nightside, where Humphries aired his stories, was on KMOV (Channel 4) news. (KMOV was contacted via email to see if they had the footage. It would cost money to search and purchase rights for anything available.) https://news.stlpublicradio.org/delete1/2003-08-25/longtime-kmov-reporter-herb-humphries-dies


Unknown Time Frames

FBI's behavioral science did attempt to help in the case. They were limited in creating a profile of the killer or killers.


"Everything we could do for her has already been done," says Mary Beth Karr, DNA technical leader for the police department. Doe's genetic profile is in CODIS, however.

On the SLMPD cold case files videos, they back up the claim that everything that can be done with her DNA has been done and that they have enlisted the help of outside agencies. 



Countless Person hours were poured into the case. "I remember there were more hours spent on that case than any other I can recall,” said Dr. Mary Case.



Hundreds of leads were given to the police, and they looked into them all. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98045435/the-kansas-city-star/

They looked into and followed any similar cases that they could find. . https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98066151/st-louis-post-dispatch/

October 2021-22 (and current) 

The documentary “Our Precious Hope St. Louis Baby Jane Doe” was created and released. One of the most accurate and compassionate projects. Including new information and clarification. At the end of the documentary, a glimmer of hope is released with information about DNA and genealogy. 


"The Case Is Never Closed" - Joe Burgoon 


If you have made it this far, there is good news. This case is never closed, and some people work tirelessly to solve it. Among those are the professionals like Joe Burgoon, who is still helping, and the new cold case unit. In addition, as the head of the Saint Louis Metro Homicide Division, Lt. Scott Aubuchon has an entire room dedicated to our Little Doe. 

Detective Mcglynn is working on the case, as well as many others, and at this point, most of the files have been digitized. Currently, there is talk of genealogy and DNA from outside companies being able to help move the case forward. There isn’t a need to do a facial reconstruction from DNA since she is so young it won’t be accurate but there are other ways the DNA could help. Det. Mcglynn said with a slight grin most Saint Louis People have been ruled out, and they have ruled out a “whole lot of people” and then said they are looking for family members and “just a little closer than what we got.” Then he tells Bird Sosa to reach out to Parabon himself and see what information can be gleaned. 

Leaving no stone unturned, Bird Sosa does reach out to Parabon Nonolabs and speaks with the Genetic Genealogist Cece Moore. Moore has been working on the distant genealogical tree of Hope. Moore has been working on the case for years, but this is the first time she was permitted to speak out about her work with Doe.

Moore points out that there is less representation of African-American DNA in the GEDmatch bank and Familytree DNA, their primary databases.

It needs to be clarified that they can not use other databases. The other databases do not allow use for unsolved and law enforcement cases. (If you are African-American, please consider donating your DNA to GEDMatch!) They can only see public information and have no access to more information than anyone else. 

Moore explains that, just like previous investigators, she thought this case would be solved in a week, especially after two suitable genealogy matches.

Unfortunately, the two top matches were born about 100 years ago. Moore explains in the documentary how slavery makes it challenging to find and build family trees, which is the case for Hope. 

Moore reached out to the granddaughter of the second of the top match, and when she was informed that she was working on an unidentified remains case with law enforcement, she said do not contact me again and pulled the DNA from the GEDmatch database. 

Moore reached out to the family of the top match, but her family went back to the time of slavery because she was also around 100 years old.

The daughter of that match promised to help but stopped talking with Moore. Moore said that the ages of these individuals compared to Hope means they are probably removals in generations. Moore also expressed that the research is complex when you don't know who has been adopted into the family. 

Moore did say that the family trees go back to Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama primarily. However, she said it's still possible that her immediate family did move into Saint Louis, Missouri, area because of the great migration. 

Then some have adopted Little Doe in their hearts as their own. They work on the case by researching and keeping her story alive. 314Bird Studios, and the entire team that made the Our PRECIOUS HOPE St Louis' Baby Jane Doe. The countless bloggers, vloggers, and writers. The armchair sleuths and detectives. We all care, and one day we will find out who she is and who killed her. We are now Little Doe's family. We must hold people accountable, and we want her name back.

 Please stay tuned because I know there are projects in the work to help Doe. You will be able to help with them. If you think you might be related to Hope, please take a DNA test, upload the results to Gedmatch and make the information public. You can also share Hope’s story, watch or purchase the documentary, and recommend that to others. The Facebook group is a great place to join and talk about Doe and other similar cases. 

People Profiles/Mentioned (Work In Progress Always and list is in no particular order)

The two looters/rummagers 

They were first described as adult men looking for scrap metals or something similar turning out to be two young teens named Harris and Thompson. The two are ruled out but have life long impact from the grisly discovery. Unfortunately, Thompson has since passed away, but his family gives his account on his behalf to try and help the case. 

Bill McClellan

Post-Dispatch staff and columnist was the first to write a news article about Jane Doe. McClellan continued to write about Doe's case on and off throughout the years.



Sam Leone

Post-Dispatch staff took the first photographs in the paper.

Initial investigators on the scene. A few hundred were initially working that day and the following days.

Captain Leroy Adkins Of Saint Louis Homicide 

Adkins was the first black man in his position of homicide lead. Adkins had held the position one year before Jane Doe's murder and discovery, having been appointed in November 1982. 

Adkins took the case personally and wanted to prove to the community that law enforcement cared about all the citizens. Adkins personally appealed to the black community and wrote letters to black magazines such as St. Louis American, Ebony, and Jet. 

Adkins was 6'2 and 230 pounds with an imposing aura, but even he had nightmares about the crime. 

"Each year, I feel that this case will finally be solved; each year, I am disappointed in myself and in mankind. I will never forget, never rest, never be at peace with myself until this case is solved." 

Adkins retired from the St. Louis Police Department in 1992 and became Chief of Security at Lambert Field. 

Late January 2023, After a good night of poker with friends, Captain Leroy Adkins passed away in his sleep after going to bed in his armchair. Adkins was around 90 years old. 

Captain Adkins Photo Leaving The Morgue '84 




Homicide Detective George Wayne Bender  

He was a Saint Louis, Missouri native who went by the name Wayne even if occasional people called him by his first. 

Bender served in Missouri National Guard and began his career in the police department in 1962, working in several districts, including 4, 7, and 8. He also worked in traffic and mobile reserve. Once during a shift change, Bender and his partner were shot, but both returned to duty within months. After a promotion to homicide, he earned four letters of commendation from the police chief. 

Det. Bender is cited as the first to have been assigned to Hope's case. 

In 1993 he retired from homicide and moved to Illinois in 1998, where he died of a heart attack on February 21st, 2004. Bender was working as a court security officer at the federal courthouse in Benton, IL






Sgt. Herb Riley Of the Homicide Division 

One of the first assigned to the case worked as lead and was one of the first investigators on the crime scene. 

Sgt. Riley had worked for nearly three decades as a cop and had the nickname "Rip" and "Seek and Find."  In 1986 after 30 years on the force, he retired. Sgt. Riley was remembered as a man who could convince murderers to confess their crimes. He wore a fedora and was very likable. 

"The man was convicted of murder several years ago after having been arrested by Riley. When the man learned that Rip was retiring, he visited the police station to wish to Rip well." 

Not everything was perfect for his long-running career, and he was accused of convincing an innocent person into a confession at one point in time. 



Sgt. Riley still gave everything he could to Hope's case. This case was on his mind even as he lay on his deathbed in 1996. 

"'I've been accused of being possessed, and I'll be the first to admit I am. It's because I know that someplace out there, there's a mother, a family, that knows their child is missing."

"There's no statute of limitations on murder. I'll never stop looking for the guy who did this." 





Homicide Detective Joseph (Joe) Burgoon 

Det. Burgoon was one of the first assigned to the case and is still active even though he officially retired in late 2022. (he attempted to retire in 2004 before returning to work in cold cases in 2005!) Burgoon did not want to quit, but his eyesight did not allow him to keep working. Burgoon has put countless hours into the case and taken steps others have not thought about to protect Hope's story, such as documenting her grave location and doing many interviews. 

Det. Burgoon started in the Airforce, began his law enforcement career around 1960, and started in homicide in 1969. He spent 27 of his work career in homicide, and along the way, he earned a few nicknames, "The Original Detective," "Father Homicide, The Blue Knightand Godfather Of Homicide." Burgoon also has a strong visual memory and will describe things in detail, and he'll remember cases and faces years later. 

Burgoon is well-known for being extraordinarily lovely and thoughtful and caring for everyone, especially children. Burgoon is a father of seven. He raised four children as a single father. 

Joe Burgoon is a legendary person with a fascinating life that could be made into a documentary. Unfortunately, there is too much to write in a small profile, and I encourage you to look him up and read more about him. 





Officer Stanley Michael "Stu" and "Stan" Sztukawski

Sztukawski was a Saint Louis, Missouri, native born on December 18, 1917. In World War II, he served in the coast guard and the Army in the Korean War. 

He began his career in law enforcement with a police department as a telephone operator and then in several divisions. In 1966 he retired as a homicide detective. During his career, he was awarded 2 Chief's Letters of Commendation and another for police work above the call of duty.

Sztukawski was on scene and briefly involved with the case, but he worked as a Medical Examiner Investigator. He had continued to work for another 20 years and was part-time when he passed away on July 22, 1997, in his home after a short illness. 

An extensive family survived Sztukawski. 

This case affected him as well, even though he was seasoned and found Hope's murder disturbing. 

"Just when you think you've seen about everything, you see something like this,"




Sgt. Lloyd Huggans 

Worked in Juvenile Division and was on the scene on the day of discovery. Sgt. Huggans gave a few quotes to the paper, but little else is known about him. 

"It's strange, but we haven't had a single phone call yet from anyone reporting a little girl missing." 

Jerry Thomas, Police Officer, worked on the scene. Photo in the paper. 
Frank Booker, Police Officer, worked on the scene. Photo in the paper. 
Brenda Martin, 23, lived next to the abandoned building in 1983 
Ronald J. Lawrence, a Post-Dispatch staff, wrote on the case when it was pretty new. 
Jan Paul, a Post-Dispatch staff, wrote on the case when it was pretty new. 

Lt. Col. John Doherty, Commander of the Bureau Of Investigation, worked on the case and was quoted as having said the scene was one of the most vicious he had ever seen. 

Rev.Tommie Ringo, Presided over Doe's first Memorial and organized the community over the problem of the abandoned house. 
Land Reutilization Authority, Organization mentioned briefly working with SPUD onboarding up or tearing down old abandoned homes for safety. 
Skinker-Page-Union-Delmar (SPUD) was an organization that wanted to tear down abandoned homes or board them up for safety. 
Myrtle Hartfield, A Staff of SPUD 
Association Of Community Organizations For Reform Now (ACORN), an organization that wanted to tear down abandoned homes or board them up for safety. 
Grant Williams, A staff organizer of ACORN
Congress On Racial Equality (CORE) 
Eugene Fowler, Director of CORE Missouri 
Solomon Rooks, Regional Director of CORE
Roy Innis, National Director of CORE
Mystery Male Informant Of CORE, unknown but had a history of criminal theft by deceit. 
During the CORE situation, Robert Wintersmith, Police Commissioner Of Saint Louis, Missouri. 
Christopher Smith, a CORE lawyer, advised them to bring in Wintersmith
George E. Curry, Virginia Hick, Dennis Hannon are all information contributors for the CORE interviews article. https://www.newspapers.com/image/140749610/?terms=decapitated&match=1
David Hayes, a spokesperson for the medical examiner's office, speaks about Doe's burial near the end of 1983
Lt. William Wilson, deputy commander of the homicide division, appears near the end of 1983 in the papers about Doe's case
Rev. John W. Heyward Jr. of Union Memorial United Methodist Church presided over Doe's funeral the first time. 
Henry Autrey, assistant circuit attorney, briefly made a quote in the paper about the vacant buildings and assault on children.
Robert L. Koenig, a staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote an investigative article about the abandoned buildings and crime one year after Doe was found. 
Lisha Gayle, a staff at Post-Dispatch who wrote articles in '84 about Doe
Captain Charles Alphin of the St. Louis Police Department had some news appearances and was involved in the anonymous letter. 
Lt. Ron Henderson, Commander of the homicide division, sometime around 2001-2003 and maybe longer. Henderson was a Lieutenant at the time of Doe’s death but later became Chief of Police sometime around 1999. 
An anonymous Woman, later revealed to be Sharon Nolte, From KC, did a private 7 1/2-year investigation into the case. 
Captain Robert Boaz, acting chief of detectives for Saint Louis police at the time Doe was found. 
Captain William E. Relling, the commander of the juvenile division, when Doe was found. 
Beverly Goodlin, Executive director of Child Find Of Missouri
Mary Schaefer and Charles Schaefer, monument makers pledged to make Doe a marker. 
Virginia Younger, accused of mismanagement of the Washington Park Cemetery in Berkley St. Louis, Missouri 
Tom Carroll, a Detective, working on Doe's case in 2009
Jesse Woodson, owner of the Woodson funeral home and helped direct Doe's first funeral
Baxter Leisure, St. Louis Medical examiners' office, attended Doe's first funeral
David Hayes, spokesperson for the medical examiners in 1983 
Dan Fox, a detective, working on Doe's case from 2013-2014
Vernon Brown, a killer whom some detectives suspected of Doe's killing, but there was no evidence. 
Kevin Bailey, Washington Park Cemetery Owner as of 2009, aided in the search for Doe's gravesite. 
Calvin Whitaker, a funeral director, helped find Doe's grave and provided her with a proper funeral. Whitaker also revitalizes the defunct cemetery. In addition, Whitaker owns the St. Louis Livery Service, transporting bodies to morgues in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Ed Sedej, photojournalist for the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1983 who photographed the original funeral
Charles Fuchs, a newspaper reader who showed his niece Abby Stylianou the search for Doe's grave 
Abby Stylianou, used her expertise to help find Doe's grave
Freddie Jefferson, a volunteer that helped find Doe's grave
Rebeca Navarro-McKelvey, Garden Of Innocents Founder
Marilynn Schepker, Funeral goer of Doe's second service. 
Donna Sciuto, Funeral goer of Doe's second service. 
 Bruce Stoliar, Funeral goer of Doe's second service. 
Deacon Peter Gounis, preceded Doe's second service. 
Dr. Michael Graham, St. Louis City Medical Examiner in 2013
Stephen McCoy, a medical examiner's death investigator in 2013
Dr. Mary Case, The medical examiner for St. Louis County and St. Charles County
Jeff Stone, Detective
Lt. Scott Aubuchon, St. Louis Metro Homicide Division
Chad Garrison, RiverFront Times writer had one of the best modern articles about Little Doe, with much information 
Bill Bryan, a Post-Dispatch writer in the 1990's, wrote a few articles about Doe. 
Mary Beth Karr, DNA technical leader
Lauren Trager, Investigative reporter KMOV.com around 2016 
Lt. Scott Aubuchon, head of St. Louis Metro Homicide Division around 2020
Major Shaun Dace, Deputy Commander Investigative Services working on Doe's case since late 2018 
Noreen Renier, Psychic from “Sightings” 
Rachelle Rowe, channel 2 reporter who covered Doe's story on May 7th, 1999. 
Mike Baumer teacher of Community High School Livingston, Ill. 
Community High School Livingston, Ill. 
Michael Darnell (17 years old in '84) Livingston Ill Community High School
Ginni Younger, the Washington cemetery's assistant manager around 1984 
Dr. George Gantner, Chief Medical Examiner of St. Louis, Missouri of 1984
Sgt. Brian McGlynn, St. Louis Police Department Sgt. Homicide Detective 2022
Cece Moore Parabon Nonolabs Genetic Genealogist 
314 Bird Studios
Bird Sosa 
Merry Weather
Herb Humphries Nightside KMOV Channel 4 news
Terry Green retired oakland homicide detective in charge of VCAP program
Connie Marstiller of the National Crime Information Center's Database
Dr. Michael Graham, St. Louis City Medical Examiner, 
Dr. Joyce Carter is a forensic autopsy, anatomic, and clinical pathology employment consultant, author, lecturer, expert witness, and independent pathologist. Dr. Carter is also the first African-American Chief Medical Examiner in the history of the USA. 


A depth documentary and one of the best about Doe: includes an interview with Joe Burgoon, and it takes the stance of advocacy for Doe. 


Mini-Documentary with older footage, but the footage is not labeled. 2020 Bright Ghost Productions


Websleuths has several threads for Doe and many people who have good theories and work. 


SLMPD Cold Case Squad


The Evening Whirl


Saint Louis, Missouri's famous newspaper, was once a tabloid that tells it like it is. It is also known as just "The Whirl" or what it was before, "Nite Whirl" Police would read to get tips, and citizens would read to check on their loved ones and how to stay out of bad areas. It has been in print for over 77 years.




Jane Doe Facebook Page 


The Headless Girl Nobody Cares About! (Saint Louis Missouri 1988) Updated!

Content warning this case involves the death of a child, with a graphic description. There are graphic photos in the sources. There is a fle...