Opelika woman recalls discovering Amore Wiggins’ remains

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 9:09 PM EST
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - After 11 years, we now know Opelika Jane Doe as Amore Wiggins. Family members like stepmom, Ruth Vickerstaff, are in the Lee County Jail, while her father, Lamar Vickerstaff, faces murder charges.

The woman whose son discovered the skull 11 years ago of Amore Wiggins remembers some of what happened.

News Leader 9 met with Yvonne Johnson 11 years ago after she and her son found a human skull in her backyard. Today though, she says it is still very emotional for her to know there is now a name to the remains.

Here’s the most surprising thing: Yvonne knew the man accused of Amore’s death - personally.

“He ran across it when he was picking up pecans, and cleaning up like he usually does, and he came back in and said, ‘Yvonne it’s something out there that look like a human skull,’” said Yvonne Johnson.

That was 11 years ago as Yvonne Johnson recalled to us the day she and her son discovered a tiny human skull in her backyard.

Today, News Leader 9 went back to see Johnson who says after so many years has passed it is hard to remember the events of that day.

“I can’t even picture it no more, we seen the skull, and it wasn’t much we could do right then,” said Johnson.

What they did do right then was call the police - sparking a nationwide hunt for an identity of the remains. Johnson says for her the memory is painful.

“That’s the skull right there.”

Along with now knowing the identity of Amore.

“Oooo wee that was a bad feeling, all I know it was just a little girl out there with just her skull,” said Johnson.

She says the days spent out here during the investigation, hurt even more when she felt there was nothing she or family could do to help.

“That was awful that was real bad, cause we couldn’t do nothing,” said Johnson.

Johnson says hearing that the man accused of killing Amore Wiggins hurts even more - knowing that she personally knows Lamar Vickerstaff.

“He was a good kid, I guess he still a good kid, I haven’t seem him in years, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, he got a hold to me one or two times, and that was it,” said Johnson.

Johnson says as a mother, she hopes closure can happen for Amore’s family.

“It’s just sad that somebody’s child is not here anymore, and not being properly buried, it’s just a sad thing to me,” said Johnson.

Johnson went on to say Lamar Vickerstaff was like a godson to her son, and she is disappointed that all this is happening. She says she lost touch with Vickerstaff once he moved away from Opelika to join the Navy.

More and more pieces continue to unfold in this case and we, of course, will continue to bring you any new developments as they continue to happen.