In November 1978, the skeletal remains of an unknown individual were discovered by a couple who were remodeling an apartment on Wilson Street in Batavia, Illinois. Batavia is located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. The resident advised police that a bone had fallen from within the wall while removing a baseboard. Upon further investigation, the Batavia Police Department recovered additional skeletal remains behind the same wall.
The individual’s remains were sent to the anthropology department at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois where it was determined that the remains were that of a female estimated to be in her mid-twenties at the time of her death. The Illinois Geological Society at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign also assisted in the investigation.
Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP90186. Despite the efforts of investigators, the case went cold, and the woman was classified as Jane Doe. Law enforcement is now seeking to utilize DNA technology, unavailable in 1978, in hopes of providing new leads about the woman’s identity.
In 2023, the Kane County Coroner’s Office and Batavia Police Department teamed with Othram to leverage advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Batavia Police Department at 630-454-2500 and reference case number 78-5090.
A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here. We are grateful for your support.