Police release new information on Opelika Jane Doe found murdered in 2012
OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - It’s been more than 10 years since the unidentified body of a young girl was found in Opelika and since then she’s become known as the Opelika Jane Doe. But now, police are releasing more information on the identification of young Jane Doe found dead in 2012.
On Jan. 28, 2012, the body of a young black girl, between the ages of 4 and 7, was found in the woods behind a trailer park in Opelika, said Opelika Police Sgt. Alfred White. Officials say the girl’s remains were found off Hurst Street in Opelika. A long-sleeved pink shirt with heart buttons and ruffles was found near her body. It was determined through their investigation that the little girl had been abused and neglected for years.
Sgt. White told the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) their investigation has recently led them to Virginia and North Carolina, two areas where the little girl may have lived. They’re asking anyone in the areas of Norfolk and Chesapeake in Virginia and Northampton in North Carolina to take a good look at the photos they’ve released.
“We know there are people who have information about who this child is,” White said. “We’ve tracked down tips from across the country and now believe that she may (also) have ties to the Orlando, Florida area. We won’t stop until we can give this child her name back.”
According to officials, her left eye was scarred, leaving her blind in that eye, most likely from the abuse she endured prior to her murder.
Shortly after her body was found, police released a clay facial reconstruction of what she may have looked like before she was killed. The reconstruction prompted members of the Greater Peace Community Church in Opelika to come forward, claiming they had seen the child before but didn’t know her name or her family.
Police say they sifted through Sunday school photos taken during the summer of 2011 and came across some that resembled the little girl found in the woods. The photos were released to the public, but no new information was generated.
A sketch was created by a forensic artist at NCMEC with help from a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution. An updated sketch was created and released in 2021.
With the holidays approaching, police are hoping someone will remember something that will help identify this child and anyone involved in her murder. If you have any information about Jane Doe, please call the Opelika Police Department at 334-705-5200 or NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
Copyright 2022 WTVM. All rights reserved.