Law enforcement agencies have let solvable cold cases languish despite forensic science advances and a federal database that includes information on 10,000 people found deceased without an identity in the United States.
Known only as “Mountain Jane Doe,” her stabbed body was found in Harlan, Kentucky, and quickly buried in a local cemetery in 1969. Authorities ordered the exhumation of her remains more than four decades later, but things didn’t turn out the way they expected.
Based on the confessions of serial killer Larry Eyler, who died in prison in 1994, authorities believe he killed at least 22 people. As many as six of his victims remain unidentified today.
Deb Anderson started what would become a 14-year campaign to identify Blue Earth Jane Doe, an 18-year-old found slain in 1980. In this case, the murderer was known long before the victim.
Boston authorities announced that they have succeeded in identifying a toddler found in a trash bag as Bella Bond. But many unidentified children never make national headlines. They are relegated to brief local crime reports.
For 12 years, Alice Almendarez agonized over the disappearance of her father, but local authorities had all they needed to know that he was nearby all along.