Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Othram Partner to Identify Jane Doe from 1985

Thirty-seven years later, investigators are still working to identify a woman whose charred remains were discovered adjacent to a highway in Fairfield County, Connecticut
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Published December 23, 2022 by Michael Vogen
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In May 1985, the charred remains of an unidentified African American woman were found burning in a pile of tires on the side of I95 Turnpike in Westport, Connecticut. Investigators observed that the woman’s hands and feet had been removed and were not recovered with the rest of her remains. Investigators estimate that the woman was between 30 and 40 years old, and that she stood 5’5” in height, and weighed between approximately 120 to 130 pounds at the time of her death. Investigators described the unknown woman’s hair as kinky and curly. However, investigators were unable to make a definitive determination about the woman’s eye color, hair color, or cause of death. Investigators estimate that the woman had died the same day that her remains were discovered.

Along with the woman’s remains, investigators also recovered several personal items. On the woman’s body, there was a pair of Russler brand blue jeans, a brasserie with two safety pins as clasps, and a wool wrap-around weather that contained a pack of Salem brand cigarettes in the pocket. Additionally, a plain gold chain was recovered.

Since the discovery of the remains, law enforcement investigators have diligently pursued various leads about the unknown woman’s identity. In July 2012, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number #UP10474. Despite the exhaustive efforts of law enforcement, the woman’s identity has remained a mystery. With few leads for investigators to pursue, the case went cold.

In 2022, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the woman or a close relative. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner by calling 860-679-3980 and referencing agency case F85-1184 or NamUs ID #UP10474.

A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.

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Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

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About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at ... Read morerecovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit to learn how we can help you with your case. With anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.