After 32 years of unanswered questions, Kentucky State Police Post 10 is hopeful some answers might finally come to light concerning a redheaded Jane Doe found in Gray, KY.
According to a press release from KSP, detectives have been in contact with individuals in North Carolina who believe the redheaded woman may be their mother who went missing more than 30 years ago.
“We are planning on collecting DNA samples from possible family members as early as next week. There is DNA on file in this case. We are hopeful the DNA comparison, which will take several months, will lead to an identification of the Knox County Jane Doe,” said KSP Sgt. Danny Caudill.
While this break in the case may finally lead to an identification for Doe, KSP remains realistic, treating the situation exactly as it is: a police investigation.
“Similar situations have came up in other investigations where DNA did not lead to an identification,” continued Sgt. Caudill. “We must view the facts of the case from an investigator’s perspective and not from the perspective of hopeful family members looking for a lost loved one.”
Jane Doe was found on April 1, 1985 by two hunters in an old refrigerator at a rural dumpsite in the Gray, KY community. An autopsy revealed she had been murdered, but authorities could not identify the woman.
Doe was estimated to be between the ages of 25-35 years old. She was wearing two different necklaces, one with a heart pendant and the other with an eagle pendant. Witnesses reported seeing Doe the day prior at a truck stop in Corbin, KY. She was allegedly attempting to get a ride to North Carolina.
As the search in the 1980s for Doe’s family and friends fruitlessly closed, it was the Knox County community that opened their arms to Doe when no one else could identify her. A grave plot in W. H. Smith Cemetery, privately owned by the Smith family, along with a tombstone, were donated so Doe would have a place to rest. Flowers are still put around the tombstone, which is marked “Unknown.”
Additional information on this case can be found on NAMUS.gov (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System). Detective Aaron Frederick is heading this investigation with help from Criminal Intel Analyst Chris Daniels. If you have any information, please call Det. Frederick at 606-573-3131.
An attempt to reach the family was made. They stated they wish to have privacy at this time while waiting on the DNA results.