Sierra County Sheriff's Office and Othram Partner to Identify 1982 Baby Jane Doe

More than four decades later, investigators are still working to identify an infant girl whose body was found in the Truckee River in Sierra County, California.
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Published January 06, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In February 1982, a Sierra Pacific Power Company worker noticed a double-bagged black garbage bag floating in the Truckee River at the Flash Dam. Upon inspection, the worker opened the bag and discovered an unresponsive White female infant. The decedent was found wrapped in a pink/red towel and was declared dead at the scene by law enforcement investigators. Days later, an autopsy was performed by the Washoe County Coroner’s Office which revealed that the infant was less than a year old, weighed four pounds, had brown hair, and was measured as 16 inches in height. The autopsy also led investigators to conclude that the infant had been dead for one week prior to the discovery of her remains. Investigators were unable to make a definitive determination about the baby’s eye color.

Since the discovery of the infant’s remains, law enforcement investigators have diligently pursued all leads about her identity. Washoe County Coroner’s Office examined tissue block samples from the infant and preserved them for evidentiary purposes. In July 2010, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number #UP7400. Despite the exhaustive efforts of law enforcement, the infant’s identity has remained a mystery. With few leads for investigators to pursue, the case eventually went cold.

In 2022, the Sierra County Sheriff's Office partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the infant or a close relative. The investigation continues as Othram begins to build a comprehensive genealogical profile. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Sierra County Sheriff's Office by calling 530-289-3700 and referencing agency case 2-820257-L.

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

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

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.