1. CONNECTICUT: An AMBER Alert has been issued for Venessa Morales, 1, who is missing from her Ansonia home after her mother was found murdered.
    There is no suspect or vehicle information at this time.
    The last confirmed sighting of Venessa and her mother was on Thanksgiving day.
    Click HERE for more information
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Keeping Children and Adults Safe
    Click Here for more information!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What do you do if you have a loved one missing?
    In this section, you will find tips on what to do and not do.
    Easily find organizations that you can contact for help.
    Click here for more information
    Dismiss Notice
  4. “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
    Our mission: Working together to help locate the missing, name the unidentified
    and discuss true crime cases within an intellectual, safe and respectful Internet community.
    *~*~*~*Don't forget, we are on Facebook! www.facebook.com/CrimeWatchersNet*~*~*~*~*
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Welcome to Crimewatchers.net! We are happy to have you with us.
Please let any staff member know if you need assistance. We're here to help! (If you aren't a member, please join us today. We'd love to meet you!)
Dismiss Notice
Crimewatchers.net opened on April 26, 2015 with the purpose of making a difference in getting the word out for the missing, unidentified, and justice for victims. Let us know if you have a case you'd like us to feature here, on Twitter &/or Facebook. Contact email: CrimewatchersCW@gmail.com

FL JULIE DOE: Transgender WF, 22-35, found in Clermont, FL - 25 Sept 1988

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1980 to 1989' started by Scorpio, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    The news broke on this case in 2015.

    The woman wore a greenish tank top with a long acid-washed skirt and pantyhose that were partially rolled down. She had long manicured nails, long dyed blonde hair and breast implants. A lab determined she likely gave birth to one or more children before the body was found Sept. 25, 1988, along County Road 474 in Four Corners. Just one problem: The person they found was actually a transgender woman.

    staff added media link: http://www.crimewatchers.net/forum/...ified-transgender-found-1988-in-florida.2089/
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2017
    Kimster, Akoya, MULDER and 1 other person like this.
  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    Estimated age Adult - Pre 40
    Minimum age 22 years
    Maximum age 35 years
    Race White
    Sex Male
    Weight (pounds) 170, Estimated
    Height (inches) 70, Estimated
    Body Parts Inventory (Check all that apply)
    All parts recovered
    Head not recovered
    Torso not recovered
    One or more limbs not recovered
    One or both hands not recovered
    Body conditions
    Not recognizable - Mummified
    Probable year of death 1988 to 1988
    Estimated postmortem interval 8 Months


    Hair color: Brown

    Head hair: Brown, long and bleached blonde

    Body hair

    Facial hair

    Left eye color: Unknown or Missing

    Right eye color: Unknown or Missing

    Eye description
    No other distinctive body features
    Distinctive features as described below
    Scars and marks
    Artificial body parts
    and aids
    Finger and toe nails
    Other distinctive
    physical characteristics: This decedent may have been in the process of, or had undergone gender reassignement.
    Medical implants: "silastic" breast implants
    Foreign objects
    Skeletal findings: possible healed fracture anterior left 7th rib; healed fracture of the right cheek bone secondary to blunt trauma; healed fracture to the right 5th toe.
    Organ absent
    Prior surgery: Evidence of a surgical rhinoplasty
    Other medical
    Akoya, MULDER and spike like this.
  3. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Body found 27 years ago was transgender woman, authorities say

    Nearly 30 years have passed since deputies released a flier about a woman's decomposing body found in rural Lake County, hoping details including that she had probably given birth to several kids would help solve the mystery of her identity.

    The woman wore a greenish tank top with a long acid-washed skirt and pantyhose that were partially rolled down. She had long manicured nails, long dyed blonde hair and breast implants. A lab determined she likely gave birth to one or more children before the body was found Sept. 25, 1988, along County Road 474 in Four Corners.

    Just one problem: The person they found was actually a transgender woman.

    Detectives recently learned the case, considered a suspicious death, had been turned upside down after the remains were tested again as part of a statewide initiative to revisit unsolved cases hoping new technology could help identify victims. Tests found the body had the DNA of a male.

    "I couldn't believe it," Lake County sheriff's Detective Tamara Dale said. "For 27 years we thought it was a woman. This could really help us identify this person because gender-reassignment surgeries weren't as common back then."

    Dale and her partner Sgt. James Dilimone have renewed their interest in the case, which is among 107 cold cases in the county, after finding out the twist.

    The sheriff's report of the body's discovery details a passerby driving near the Green Swamp, four miles east of State Road 33 and four miles west of U.S. Highway 27, when he pulled off the side of the road.

    The man, who lived in the Clermont area, was searching for wood to use for lawn furniture and spotted the perfect cypress tree. He pulled his truck over about 11 a.m. and smelled something foul as he entered the woods. He found a body hiding in 5-foot-high weeds.

    Deputies were called to the area and noticed it appeared the decomposed body had been dragged into the woods two to four weeks earlier and left face up. No shoes, jewelry, handbag or wallet were found. But the person had undergone several cosmetic surgeries including breast implants and a nose job.

    The nearest neighbor — about a mile away — in the rural area filled with citrus trees told authorities he didn't hear or see anything suspicious. Investigators talked with people at nearby businesses and two bars in the area but hit a dead end. Residents offered a number of leads regarding women who matched the description but each were tracked down and found safe.

    "We were getting leads based on the description we released and we followed all of them, but it shouldn't come to a surprise we didn't crack the case," Dale said. "We were looking for the wrong person."

    Dilimone said they have no idea if the person was murdered or had been ditched after possibly overdosing on drugs. But, he said, the woman most likely didn't die at the location where they found her and it is suspicious the body looked to have been dragged and hidden in the woods.

    "It's definitely a mystery and very suspicious," he said. "By the time we uncovered the body it was already partially decomposed, so testing for drugs couldn't be done. Our best bet now is to find out who this person is. That's the first step in solving this case."

    Dilimone said they speculated the woman could have been a prostitute because transition surgeries in the 1980s were even more expensive than they are nowadays.

    The body was sent to the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory in Gainesville, part of the University of Florida's Department of Anthropology, and analyzed by world-renowned forensic anthropologist William Maples. Maples said she was originally a brunette between 24 and 32 years old and tall — about 5 feet, 9 inches — with a robust, athletic build. The deterioration of the body didn't show any trauma. A cause of death was never found.

    Maples, who died in 1997, had worked on more than 1,000 cases for law enforcement, helping to identify victims and solve how they died. He worked on a number of high-profile cases. In 1991, he participated in the examination of President Zachary Taylor's body and helped debunk a theory that he was poisoned during a struggle over slavery prior to the Civil War. He also helped identify the remains of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in Peru in 1984 and analyzed the remains of Joseph Merrick — known as "The Elephant Man" — in 1990.

    Michael Warren, who now heads the lab and made the discovery in the Lake County case, said his mentor could have made the mistake for a number of reasons.

    Pits on the pelvis were found, which was thought to indicate a person had given birth. The divots are caused by a hormone that softens bones for childbirth. The theory was later discredited after women who had not given birth were found with them. It was also found that men could secrete the hormone as well.

    "At the time literature was starting to come out indicating those markings aren't a good indicator of childbirth or that a person is a female…," Warren said. "He was a victim of the science at the time."

    Warren said it's rare to see this happen in men, but this person was taking high amounts of estrogen. That could have helped create the effect and reduce the amount of testosterone in the body. The extra intake of estrogen is common during a gender transition, Warren said.

    "All the reports called the person a female. If you're getting all that information it can influence you," Warren said. "Plus, the person was wearing women's attire and had breast implants…The transgender community was much smaller back then so it wasn't something you'd expect."
    KareBear, GarAndMo49, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    DNA testing was just starting in the late 1980s, with the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) just beginning in some parts of the country. The system saves DNA from convicted offenders and often helps law enforcement agencies with DNA matches.

    At the time, Warren said, DNA testing was expensive and something that was often out of reach of law enforcement agencies that had to cover the cost. Along with the hefty price, often the tests didn't help solve crimes because CODIS was just beginning and there weren't many offenders in the system.

    "I'm not shocked they didn't try to test for DNA back then," he said. "It was gaining momentum at that time but it wasn't anything compared to what we have now. It keeps getting more and more efficient and fast."

    Warren also found several additional differences from Maples' original report. Warren said the body was actually taller than originally noted, 5-foot-11, and could have been a year older, up to 33.

    The remains had been kept at the lab since 1988 in an evidence room filled with other unidentified people.

    All these years later, Warren and lab workers decided to pull out the remains and see if new technology could help give clues about the identity. Warren had a gut reaction based on what he observed.

    "The moment we pulled out the skeleton and looked at it I said 'Whoa, this is a guy,'" he said. "We did all the measurements and ran statistics on the bones and everything was screaming this was a biological male. When we got back the DNA that confirmed it we were stunned."

    Both he and Lake deputies have theories that the person could have been a transient or estranged from family members before the transition from a man to a woman.

    "Sadly, even nowadays the transgender community feels rejected by a lot of folks in our culture," Warren said. "It's sometimes hard for them to find employment and get money for treatment, which can be very expensive."

    He said not many medical offices offered these treatments and procedures in the 1980s, and the closest areas that may have offered them would have been in Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans.

    The transgender possibility never occurred to investigators.

    "Wow. That's definitely a shock," said Lake County sheriff's investigator Ray Morrison, who headed the case before retiring in 2002 and moving to Alabama. "But thinking about it now, I remember she was kind of tall for a female."

    Morrison said he remembered working on the case and how quickly it turned cold.

    "We followed all the leads we could for a good week or so, but after that there was nothing to go on," he said.

    Now, Dale and Dilimone hope the new information will provide new leads to make an identification.

    "We're hoping it rings a bell for someone, whether it is the doctor who did the surgeries or a friend," Dale said. "We just want this person's family to have closure."

    If you have any information about this case, call the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 352-343-2101 or Crimeline 1-800-423-8477
    Kimster, GarAndMo49, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  5. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    Lake County hopes for leads in transgender cold case, sends items for DNA testing
    The case was recently turned upside down on when a lab reexamined the remains and found the body had the DNA of a male. However, the person lived as a woman.

    Detectives released a new sketch of what the woman, whom they call "Julie Doe," may have looked like but despite a few leads, nothing has led to her identity.

    Detective Tamara Dale said she sent items found with the body to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's lab in Tallahassee for DNA testing. She said the results can take several weeks but might offer some leads in the case.

    "I'm hoping there will be foreign DNA on her clothing and if so interview that person as someone who would have had contact with Julie near the time of her death," Dale said.

    In 1988, the body was found decomposing in the woods near the Four Corners area along County Road 474. She was found wearing a greenish tank top and a long acid-washed skirt with pantyhose that were partially rolled down. She also had long manicured nails, long dyed blonde hair and was about 5 foot 11.


    For almost 30 years Lake County deputies have been trying to identify the dead woman they found in the woods in the Four Corners area. A lab that was tasked with helping identify her said she had likely given birth to one or more children before she was found dead on Sept. 25, 1988 along County Road 474. Just one problem. The person they found was actually a transgender woman.

    Her remains were sent to the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory in Gainesville shortly after where it was incorrectly determined the remains belonged to a woman who had likely given birth to one or more children.

    The remains recently were re-tested with new technology as part of a statewide initiative to revisit unsolved cases and it was discovered to have been a transgender woman.

    The person was found with breast implants and was taking hormone drugs, which led to the misidentification in 1988. She is estimated as being between 24 and 33 years old.

    The case is being investigated as a suspicious death.

    "I would love to identify Julie so she can have a proper burial and so her friends and family can have closure on their missing loved one," Dale said. "I don't think anyone should have to lie unidentified in a laboratory while their family wonders what happened to them."

    People with information about this case can call the Lake County Sheriff's Office at 352-343-2101 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.
    KareBear, GarAndMo49, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  6. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

  7. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    Julie Doe

    Female (Transgender)
    Race: White
    Location: Clermont, Florida
    Found: September 25, 1988
    Unidentified for: 27 years
    Postmortem interval 8 months
    Body condition Mummified
    Age approximation 22 - 35
    Height approximation 5'10
    Weight approximation 170 pounds
    Cause of death Suspected homicide

    Julie Doe was a transgender woman found deceased in 1988. The cause of her death is undetermined, although the apparent concealment of her body suggests foul play.

    • She had natural brown hair that was bleached.
    • She had a healed injury to the right cheekbone
    • She had upper body reassignment surgery (most likely taking place in Miami or Atlanta, Georgia).
    • Plastic surgery was done on her nose, as a result of the injury to her face or through her transition process.
    • She had 250cc silicone breast implants, which likely were put into place around 1984.
    • She wore a blue-green tank top.
    • She was wearing an acid washed denim skirt.
    • She had on pantyhose.
    patsella, GarAndMo49, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  8. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Date of Discovery: September 25, 1988
    Location of Discovery: Clermont, Lake County, Florida
    Estimated Date of Death: 8 months prior
    State of Remains: Not recognizable - Mummified
    Cause of Death: Unknown

    Physical Description
    Estimated Age: 22-35 years old
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Height: 5'9" to 5'11"
    Weight: 170 lbs.
    Hair Color: Brown, long and bleached blonde.
    Eye Color: Unknown
    Distinguishing Marks/Features: May have been in the process of, or had undergone, gender reassignement. Had silastic breast implants. Long manicured nails. Robust, athletic build. Possible healed fracture of anterior left 7th rib. Healed fracture of the right cheek bone secondary to blunt trauma. Healed fracture to the right 5th toe. Evidence of a surgical rhinoplasty.

    Dentals: Available
    Fingerprints: Not Available
    DNA: Available

    Clothing & Personal Items
    Clothing: Blue-green tank top, Manisha long acid washed denim skirt, and panty hose.
    Jewelry: Unknown
    Additional Personal Items: Unknown

    Circumstances of Discovery
    A passerby looking for cypress wood to build lawn furniture, discovered the decednt's remains in a wooded area in the Green Swamp area known as Four Corners in the vicinity of Hwy 474, four miles east of Hwy 33.

    Initially, the decedent was believed to be a woman and it was thought she had given birth. When the remains were tested again, DNA revealed that the decedent was male who had undergone gender reassignment surgery, which was uncommon for the era.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    Agency Name: District 5 Medical Examiner's Office
    Agency Contact Person: Lindsey Bayer
    Agency Phone Number: 352-326-5961
    Agency E-Mail: N/A
    Agency Case Number: 1988-MA-387/ME-1035

    Agency Name: Lake County Sheriff's Office
    Agency Contact Person: N/A
    Agency Phone Number: 352-343-2101
    Agency E-Mail: N/A
    Agency Case Number: Unknown

    NCIC Case Number: Unknown
    NamUs Case Number: 6030

    MULDER Bronze Member

    The Transgender community in most countries has strong networks, and close knit associations & communications.
    I wonder if they have put this out on FB and to any of the advocacy groups? It would be a good way to reach out overseas too.
    Operations were more cost effective in South America and Asia for surgery back then.

    I wondered if it had been a domestic situation - whereby a partner had been involved in her demise, or/and concealing the body.
    It seems Julie Doe may have suffered some form of violence in the past - her face being the points of where the damage occurred - with her cheek and possibly her nose reconstructed.

    Someone must know her - she is too recognizable and her physical history helps make her identifiable.

    I hope this case gets some serious media attention - as someone would be missing her.
    patsella, GarAndMo49, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  10. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    Julie Doe's case has received good coverage on LGBT new websites as well as the local media in Florida, I think it's just a matter of time before someone recognizes her. I think it's a good idea to start looking for missing males, she probably disappeared before she decided to transition. Perhaps she ran off with someone who promised to pay for them.
    patsella, GarAndMo49, MULDER and 3 others like this.
  11. I'm glad to see proper pronoun usage. She was truly lovely looking. I wonder if she might have been targeted for her gender identity.
  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Because of the year that she was found, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
    Scorpio, MULDER, Akoya and 1 other person like this.
  13. Even now I wouldn't be immensely surprised. There's a lot of hatred out there.
    Scorpio, Advocate, MULDER and 3 others like this.
  14. Advocate

    Advocate Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

    I entered Julie in Doe net. She also has a FB page that isn't active

    Identify Julie Doe https://www.facebook.com/IdentifyJulieDoe/
  15. MULDER

    MULDER Bronze Member

    spike, Scorpio and Kimster like this.
  16. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Rarely used test could help ID transgender woman in 30-year-old Lake County cold case

    Tamara Dale feels like she knows “Julie Doe.” The Lake County Sheriff’s Office sergeant has been investigating the 30-year-old cold case for about two years — but has yet to learn Julie’s real name. Dale’s interest in the mystery spiked after the remains were tested again as part of a statewide initiative to revisit unsolved cases.

    Advances in technology revealed the victim in the 1988 case was not a woman who officials originally thought had given birth to multiple children, but instead a transgender woman who was born biologically male. Dale, 37, said the bizarre mixup sent them back to square one. But so far nothing has led to the woman’s identity or why she was found dead 30 feet off County Road 474 in a rural area of southern Lake County in between State Road 33 and U.S. Highway 27.

    The person found had breast implants and was taking hormones, which led to the misidentification. She is estimated as being between 24 and 33 years old. “It’s a whole new case for us,” Dale said. “She has spent the last 30 years in a lab. This is a new chance to solve this case.” She said they’re now hoping a rarely used procedure, called a familial DNA test, will help reveal Julie’s real identity.

    “I don’t think she had an easy life with being transgender in the 1980s, and she obviously died without any sort of respect,” Dale said. “I think she deserves a break and her family needs to know what happened to her.” She asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to run the familial DNA test in mid-June. The process runs the victim’s DNA profile through a database that will look for partial matches, which could help locate family members. The procedure is fairly new and only a handful of states, including Florida, allow the tests.

    The process has been controversial, especially when it is used to make an arrest. Many opponents say the practice raises privacy and civil rights concerns. Lake County has used familial DNA testing on several occasions, most recently in a case last year to help identify Melvin Kort, whom deputies say had been buried by his two daughters in the yard of his home.

    The tests have helped lead to arrests across the nation, including in notorious cases like that of the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer in Los Angeles. Lonnie David Franklin Jr. is now on death row after a familial DNA test helped connect him to at least 10 murders over several decades.

    The American Civil Liberties Union says the popularity of the tests raises concern. “It’s quite a powerful tool but it can also be ineffective or dangerous,” said Michael Risher, a senior attorney for ACLU. Risher said the tests lead law enforcement to family members, which then widens the net of innocent people who fall under suspicion and are investigated by authorities.

    He said the practice is also racially discriminatory because there are more people of color in DNA databases, which leads to hits on minorities more often than other groups. Dale said she doesn’t plan to use the test to arrest anyone, especially since a medical examiner’s report was inconclusive as to Julie Doe’s cause and manner of death.

    “In a perfect world this test might lead to a suspect, yes, but my first priority is figuring out who she was so her body can be laid to rest,” she said. “Of course, I would love to figure out what happened to her, but that comes after giving her family some peace.”

    The FDLE has received 21 familial DNA search requests from across the state since about 2012. Of those, 19 were accepted and four led to results, which were passed along to law enforcement, according to data provided by the agency.

    The department lists guidelines before a search is done, including that detectives have to exhaust all other means before the DNA is run through a familial test. It also lists that the case “must involve a violent crime against a person” or be a “critical public safety concern,” according to the FDLE’s familial DNA search police. But it isn’t clear whether Julie Doe’s case involves a violent crime.

    Risher said Dale’s chances of getting approval to run a familial test are small because of the strict protocols.

    Dale said she has had the victim’s DNA run through several other databases and also had all of her evidence checked for foreign DNA. She is hoping to have an isotope test done at the University of South Florida later this year that would test the victim’s teeth, hair and bone.

    The test could help figure out where the victim grew up and lived just before her death.

    “Part of me really thinks that she didn’t live here in Central Florida, so getting this information could really help us figure out where we should be looking,” Dale said. “Because right now, her whole story is a complete mystery.”
  17. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    julie doe.jpg
    An evidence photo taken Sept. 25, 1988 after a body was found along County Road 474 in Four Corners (Lake County Sheriff's Office)
    spike and Akoya like this.
  18. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    spike, Advocate and Akoya like this.
  19. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    This case really makes me question the other cases where they claim to know that certain Jane Does have given birth, or not.
  20. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

Share This Page