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OR ANNIE DOE: WF, 14-25, found in Josephine County, OR - 19 Aug 1971 *Annie Lehman*

Discussion in 'Identified!' started by DaisyChains, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

  2. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    Who Is Oregon's Annie Doe?
    by Amelia Templeton OPB | Sept. 6, 2015 2:30 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 8, 2015 6:35 p.m.

    In 1971, a man and his son found the scattered remains of a young woman while they were camping in the woods just north of the Oregon-California border.

A pink and tan houndstooth coat was wrapped around the woman’s head. Nearby, investigators found 38 cents, a map of recreational sites in Northern California and a knife.

    More than 44 years later, a small team of scientists and investigators are still trying to figure out who that young woman was.

    “Somebody out there is missing her. Or was missing her,” said Kari Lee, a Josephine County deputy and evidence technician.

If the woman were alive today, she would be between 58 and 69 years old.

    “She’s poised to be identified,” said Dr. Nici Vance, a forensic anthropologist with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. “But there’s a time continuum that we can’t stop.”

    The woman with the pink coat is one of more than 100 unidentified bodies in Oregon. The cases span decades. They include a woman who was found floating in the Willamette River in 1946, her hair in curlers and pins, and a man’s jawbone that was pulled up in a fisherman’s crab pot in April of this year near the mouth of the Columbia River.


It can take years of detective work to figure out who these people were in life and whether their families had reported them missing. 

    New tools — like DNA testing and a publicly searchable national case database for unidentified people, called NamUs — have made it easier to connect people who are reported missing with the unidentified bodies that end up in morgues and medical examiners offices. But law enforcement agencies don’t always use the database.

    Without an advocate, it’s easy for the body of a Jane or John Doe to be forgotten. 

But Lee is trying to make sure the woman in the pink coat won’t be one of those bodies.

    Lee works for the most notoriously underfunded sheriff’s department in Oregon. 

Her official job includes going with deputies to crime scenes and ensuring that the evidence, including guns, drugs, backpacks and the odd moose head, is dated and properly stored.

    But Lee’s passion is to identify the woman discovered in the woods in 1971, who she calls Annie Doe. She discovered Annie Doe shortly after she started with the sheriff’s office in 1998.

    “I had just taken over the department, and I was organizing the homicide room. I came across this box, marked ‘71,’” she remembered.


Inside the cardboard box, Lee found a complete skeleton. A smaller cardboard box contained a skull. The pink and tan coat with large pink buttons was also in the box.

Lee said immediately, the situation felt wrong, “I know this wasn’t the place for her. She had a home, she had a family, she had friends. I wanted to find her home.”

 She’s hung artists sketches of the unidentified woman she calls Annie Doe and newspaper clippings related to the cold case on the wall above her desk, as a visual reminder to keep working on it.
    “I’ve done a lot of digging. I look at it, and I think, ‘What else can I do?’” said Lee.

    The sheriff’s office never determined whether the woman was murdered; her body was badly damaged by the time it was discovered. An autopsy performed on the skeleton years later also failed to identify a cause of death.

    Over the years, Lee has enlisted the help of a jewelry expert in Australia to learn more about a pair of distinctive silver rings found with the body. She’s also sought out the 1971 guestbook of the Oregon Caves National Monument, just down the road from where the body was found.


“She’s definitely brought it to a level that it would have never gotten to, unless she was involved in it,” said Vance.

    Unidentified bodies are officially the responsibility of the Oregon State Medical Examiner, but for years, the agency operated out of an office in North Portland with a tiny morgue.

    “The freezer could hold five bodies, and that’s it,” said Vance. 

    As a result, the bodies and skeletons remained boxed up in county sheriffs’ evidence rooms and police departments across the state.


In 2003, after the medical examiner moved into a larger office, Vance began the process of collecting the unidentified bodies from law enforcement, re-examining them, and entering their profiles into NamUs.

    Vance is now responsible for 128 bodies.

    “Most of the people in Oregon have everything in place. They have DNA profiles, they have dental coding, they have x-rays,” she said.


She entered Annie Doe into the unidentified persons database in 2013.

    The entry includes a trove of details that could help a detective or family member identify her from across the country. She had long auburn hair streaked with blond. She was between 14 and 25 years old when she died. There are also photos of her clothes, her shoes and the unique silver rings that were found near her body. One has the letters “AL” scratched into the face.
She’s so terribly identifiable,” said Vance. “Now we need someone who is missing a loved one to come forward and say, ‘I think that might be my sister.’”

    So far, the challenges in Annie Doe’s case have outweighed the clues. 

Lee and Vance don’t know if the woman was ever reported missing in the 1970s. If she was, that missing person report could have been filed at any one of thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country.

    “It was a very transient society in that period of time. She could be from anywhere. Absolutely anywhere,” said Lee.


If a missing persons report was filed, it may have been lost.

 Further complicating the search, Vance said detectives across the country also often don’t enter missing persons reports into the NamUs database.


Instead, many detectives still rely on an older crime reporting system that’s more difficult to search, called the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC.

    “The NCIC system is what I would call an antiquated system,” said Vance. “It was never created for missing people, it was created for missing objects. Stolen vehicles, boats that got untied from their moorings. It was a way for law enforcement to enter serial numbers and descriptions.”

    Vance said it’s much harder to use that database to search for a person using an identifying characteristic like an eagle tattoo or an appendectomy scar. 

And finally, while NamUs is a public database that families of the missing can easily search themselves, many people have never heard of it.

    “One of the startling things I’ve learned over the years is that sometimes families simply do not know about this,” she said. “The resources are still fragmented, especially on the missing person side.”

    Since Annie Doe was entered into NamUs, she’s come up as a possible match for five missing women. Lee said one of the candidates even appeared to be wearing the same houndstooth coat in her missing person photo. But one by one, the women were ruled out as matches using dental records and DNA.

    “That was a crushing blow. I was very hopeful we had finally found Annie’s home,” said Lee.


Vance is convinced that eventually, somebody will recognize the woman’s profile in the database.

    “Her friends and perhaps her siblings are still out there. Someone knew this girl, absolutely. We just need to find out whom,” she said.

    For now, the skeleton waits at the State Medical Examiner’s office.


Vance carefully laid out the bones, wrapped them in protective exam paper, and placed them in a ventilated plastic container. 

She knows that for every person she is able to identify, there are many more she cannot. Her locked storage room will be a final resting place for some people.

    “It’s sad, certainly, in a way,” she said. “I’m at peace with that, because I know they are safe, and we will never give up.”

    The Center of Investigative Reporting’s new radio show Reveal designed a tool to make it easier for the public to search.

    This story is part of a larger project by Reveal, public radio’s first investigative news show. You can listen to “Left For Dead” from Reveal, CIR and PRX on OPB Tuesday at 9 p.m.
  3. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    Additional images that first post couldn't fit in:

    Attached Files:

  4. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    What are the odds of those two missing women wearing the same unusual hounds tooth coat???

    Maybe the coat was being shared by two missing acquaintances???
  5. Advocate

    Advocate Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    Attached Files:

  6. Advocate

    Advocate Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    Thanks so much for the article, I must have missed it when it was published in September. What caught my attention was they said the buttons were large; so I went to her NamUs profile to look at the photo. I measured my thumb, I would say the button is about an inch, which I don't consider to be large, especially for a coat. I would describe a 2 inch button as large


    It got me looking at her stats, she was 64" which is 5'3" weight was approximately 125
    The clothing says a size 13-14 misses Wrangler pants. I wonder if the pants were actually Juniors because misses pants are sized in even numbers. She had a pretty large foot for someone that's 5'3". I'm 5'8" and wear an 8 1/2; but her bra (34B) was not that large. I wonder if maybe she was "bottom heavy"? Her shoes do not appear to be stretched out such as if she had chunky feet.

  7. Sunburst

    Sunburst Bronze Member

  8. Advocate

    Advocate Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    The type of coat was popular back then. Someone I know said that Wrangler did size women's jeans like that. She also told me that she was the same size as Annie at that age, including the shoe size. She also had an outfit nearly identical to Annie's, except the jacket was light green and cream and her shoes were probably from Penney's and had a squarer buckle. She had a similar shirt too

  9. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    Wow. Well, trendy young people.
  10. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    There was a Woolworth's in Medford, Oregon. I had to check because they weren't in every town on the west coast. In fact, I can only remember seeing one the whole time I was growing up.
  11. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    An important aspect to me is that the change in her pocket went up to year 1970, so likely she died at some point in 1970 or at the very beginning of 1971. Janet Kramer's missing date was of January 1971. She ran away from an all girls home. Could it be that she wanted to see the warm California weather and met someone with ill intentions while traveling further north up the coast? The unidentified did have a map with her so that point to being a tourist/hitchhiker/runaway. her hair color being auburn and her vitals also struck me. I sent her in as a potential match. I'm hoping it gets looked into.


    Janet Kramer:

    Janet Kramer was 13 years old and staying at a group home in Willmar at the time of her disappearance Jan. 1, 1971. She had gone to visit family members, and that was the last time family members saw her.

    “She had gone for a visit to family members, who had no record of hearing from her after that,” Bauman said.

    Kramer would now be 57 years old and was described at the time as being a 5-foot white female, weighing 110 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

    In addition to Daniel Newville, there are three other "missing persons" cases from west central Minnesota in the statewide database.


    Janet Kramer

    Above Images: Kramer

    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

    • Missing Since: January 1, 1971 from Willmar, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota
    • Classification: Endangered Missing
    • Date Of Birth: June 3, 1957
    • Age: 13
    • Height: 5'0"
    • Weight: 120 lbs
    • Hair Color: Brown
    • Eye Color: Hazel
    • Race: White
    • Gender: Female
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: She may wear glasses. Broken right arm
      at elbow at age 6.
    • Case Number: 13008257
    Details of Disappearance
    Janet was last seen on January 1, 1971, and has not been seen since. She ran away from an all girls home in Willmar, MN.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office

    Source Information

  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    The following people have been ruled out as being this decedent:
    First Name Last Name Year of Birth State LKA
    Niki Britten 1953 Oregon
    Babara Bryson 1951 Oregon
    Sandra Conway 1953
    Sharon Giusti 1943 Washington
    Debra Pscholka 1958 California
    Martha Shelton 1944 Kentucky

    Janet isn't on the exclusion list. The only thing would be that both of their DNA is in the NamUS database, if I'm reading their profiles correctly.
  13. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

  14. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

  15. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    yes the wide nasal bridge and THAT HAIR COLOR!!! seriously if they were color swatches (the hair color on composite and Karen's hair) they would match almost perfectly. Karl's recon has a much more narrow nose though and it is not very similar to the original composite sketch with a wide bridge nose. amazing recon, I'm just seeing it as not being very similar to the composite in my eyes so im not sure which to go by. I guess I'm Going with the original composite for now respectfully.
  16. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    But the chin on Carl's is more rounded, like Janet.
    FlandersFields, Akoya and spike like this.
  17. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    The hair is spot on...texture, color, length.
    Chin is drawn differently.
    FlandersFields, Akoya and DaisyChains like this.
  18. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    i wonder if the chin difference is simply bc in Janet's picture her mouth is closed and not an open mouth smile? I know that my chin/face looks longer when i smile or have gaping mouth than when i have a shut mouth.

    what really gets me is the apples of the cheeks as well. pronouned little circles they are.

    theres really so many possibilities for who this jane doe could be.
  19. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    Message back from
    Jessica of Namus!


    I do not see that these cases have been compared yet. I will forward to the investigating agencies for their review.

    Thank you for your interest in these cases.

    Jessica Hager

    Regional System Administrator (AK, ID, MN, MT, ND, OR, SD, WA, WY)

    National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

    3500 Camp Bowie Bl.

    Ft. Worth, Texas 76107

    Phone: 817-374-2765

    Email: jessica.hager@unthsc.edu

    Web: www.NamUs.gov

    Web: www.untfsu.com"
  20. Advocate

    Advocate Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    Carl did her recon. I then did a screen shot of it next to her jewelry as IMO I think someone may recognize it with her photo. Kari her detective feels the jewelry will ID her.
    The hair Carl used is from an actual clump of hair found; so the color is correct.
    Have to run, have Dr appt.

    Album on Never Forget Me


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