Fond Du Lac Jane Doe: A Unique Method for Corpse ID

22 Aug

The ME will use any and all tools at his disposal to help identify an unknown corpse. Such is the case with the young lady known as the “Fond du Lac Jane Doe.”

She is unidentified and has remained so since her badly decomposed body was found in a rural wooded area near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin last November. The ME determined that she was between 15 and 21, just over 5-feet tall, and weighed between 110 and 135 pounds. Police believe she might be Caucasian, but a University of Wisconsin anthropologist determined that she was Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. Scouring missing persons reports has not turned up an ID and even though the manufacturer of her clothing was identified, this offered little help. DNA has been obtained but with nothing to compare it to it is of no use.

A forensic artist created a composite likeness and the clothing manufacturer provided copies of her clothing so that police could construct a composite picture. Then they took the unique step of creating a Facebook page for Jane Doe. Hopefully this will lead to her identity.


ABC News Story

Facebook Page

Sheriff’s Department Site


4 responses to “Fond Du Lac Jane Doe: A Unique Method for Corpse ID

  1. Pat Browning

    August 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Re: Jane Doe Fond du Lac — Fascinating story! How did the anthropologist determine that she was Asian, Hispanic or American Indian? My work in progress has an anthropologist examining some old bones from a Chinese person, so that kind of information would be a big help. Is it a definite thing, or a by-guess and by-gosh determination?


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      August 23, 2009 at 8:12 am

      The anthropologist looks at the skull, the femur (upper leg bone), and a few other bones for evidence of racial background. It is not exact but merely suggestive and with the increasing mixture among races makes it increasingly difficult to make this determination. Bottom line is that it is a best guess.


  2. Pat Browning

    August 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Pat Browning


  3. Lisa

    November 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Unfortunately, so many of these cases remain unidentifed, either because they were never reported missing, or because the family members don’t know what database to search on. Sad.



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