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CA KERN COUNTY JANE DOE: F, 30-40, found in almond orchard near Delano, CA - 14 July 1980

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1980 to 1989' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member


    Kern Co Jane Doe is an unidentified female of uncertain race who was found on July 14, 1980 in an almond orchard in Kern County between McFarland and Bakersfield, California. Having been sexually assaulted and stabbed, the manner of her death is considered homicide. She had shoulder length brown hair, brown eyes, and was 5′ 4″ tall and weighed 115 lbs. She had tattoos professionally “inked”. She may have been picked up at the now closed bar in Lemoore, CA called Ruby’s, about 75 miles from where she was found.


    Sex: Female
    Race / Ethnicity: Uncertain
    Estimated Age Group: Adult - Pre 40
    Estimated Age Range (Years): 40
    Height: 5' 4"(64 inches) , Measured
    Weight: 115 lbs, Measured

    Type: Unidentified Deceased
    Date Body Found: July 14, 1980
    Location Found
    Street Address: 1/4 mi north of Merced Ave, .1 mi east of Zerker RdMcFarland, California 93250
    County: Kern County
    Circumstances of Recovery: Found deceased in an almond orchard
    Details of Recovery
    Inventory of Remains: All parts recovered
    Condition of Remains: Recognizable face
    Circumstance Notes
    This unidentified female was found July 14, 1980 in a Kern County almond orchard.

    Physical Description
    Hair Color: Brown
    Head Hair Description: Shoulder length
    Left Eye Color: Brown
    Right Eye Color: Brown
    Distinctive Physical Features
    Scar/mark: 6" scar on left hip 4" scar across belly above pubic hair line
    Tattoo: upper left arm - " Love You" above Red Heart with "Shirley" written thru heart and "Seattle" below Heart. left anterior lower arm - "Mother" above Red/Green Flower with "I Love You" below Flower.
    Other distinctive physical characteristic: All upper teeth missing; no denture located. Lower teeth present

    Clothing and Accessories
    Clothing: blue denim pants size 28, pink blouse, white panty girdle, multicolored panties. - On the Body
    Footwear: white slip on shoes, size 6 - On the Body

  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Date of Discovery: July 15, 1980
    Location of Discovery: Delano, Kern County, California.
    Estimated Date of Death: 1 day prior
    State of Remains: Recognizable face
    Cause of Death: Homicide by stabbing

    Physical Description
    Estimated Age: 30-40 years old
    Race: Hispanic and/or Native American
    Sex: Female
    Height: 5'4"
    Weight: 115 lbs.
    Hair: Brown, shoulder-length.
    Eye Color: Brown
    Distinguishing Marks/Features: Victim had given birth at least once. 4" scar on abdomen, scar on left buttock. Transversely positioned 1-1/2" scar above and below left knee; possible surgical. Vitallium plate with screws and hinged with 3-1/2" rod into left hip to stabilize left femur fracture just below the head of femur. Blood group O Positive.
    Tattoos: Tattoos on each arm, one is a tattoo of a heart with the name "Shirley" in the center and it had the words "Love You" above and "Seattle" below it.

    Dentals: Available. All upper teeth missing; no denture located. Lower teeth present.
    Fingerprints: Available.
    DNA: Sample submitted - Tests complete.

    Clothing & Personal Items
    Clothing: Pink blouse, blue denim pants, size 28. Blue socks, white slip-on shoes, size 6. white panty girdle, multicolored panties.
    Jewelry: Unknown.
    Additional Personal Items: Unknown.

    Circumstances of Discovery
    The victim was found on July 15, 1980 in a field in an almond orchard in Delano, California. She may have been from Washington. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

    She may have gone by the name "Becky" or "Rebecca Ochoa" and could have been employed at an apple orchard.

    In 2015, DNA results from scrapings of her fingernails and clothing linked the woman and 1020UFCA to Wilson Chouest, a 63-year-old, who was already in prison. He did not apparently know the victims.

    Chouest was convicted of the two murders in 2018 and was given life in prison.


  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Wilson Claude Chouest[2] (/ʃuːɛst/)[3] (born December 2, 1951) is an American criminal known for the murders of two unidentified females in the state of California, both occurring within days of each other in July 1980. He has a history of violence toward women, including abduction, robbery and rape, which occurred between 1977 and 1980.[4][5][3][6] Chouest, who is currently serving a life sentence, was charged with three counts of murder, including that of one victim's unborn son.[7] He was identified as a suspect in the case in 2012, after his DNA was matched to fingernail scrapings collected from both victims.[8]

    Chouest is also known to have committed crimes in Tulare and Los Angeles Counties. He is currently serving life in prison for his activities in the latter area.[4] On May 31, 2018, a jury found Chouest guilty of the murders of the women, but did not convict on behalf of the Ventura County victim's unborn son.[9]

    The body of a White, Native American or Hispanic woman was located on July 15, 1980 in Delano, Kern County, California in an almond orchard. Tire tracks were observed at the scene.[9] She was murdered approximately one day prior; she was stabbed 29 times and was then transported to the location she was found. The woman was possibly picked up from a now closed bar known as "Ruby's" that was located in Lemoore, California.[11]

    She had two unique tattoos; one was a heart containing the words "I Love You," "Shirley" and "Seattle" and another that read "Mother" and "I Love You." She also had scars on her abdomen and buttock. She had also worn a leg prosthesis, believed to have been the result of an injury that had occurred on her upper leg.[12] All of her upper teeth were missing.[3] She was intoxicated at the time of her murder, as her blood alcohol was .3 %[9]

    The words on the tattoos may give evidence to where she may have been native to, such as Seattle, Washington and likely had the name Shirley or was close to someone who bore that name. However, it is also believed that she may have gone by the name of "Rebecca Ochoa" or "Becky" and was employed at an apple orchard. The woman was known to have been in the area for several weeks before she died.[13] The victim was twenty-five to thirty-five years old at an estimated height and weight of five feet four inches and 115 pounds, respectively. It is also believed she had given birth at least once. She wore a pink top, jeans, white shoes and blue socks.[14] In 2018 the DNA Doe Project took on her case.[11]

    Along with DNA recovered from the woman's fingernails and clothing, Chouest was also linked to a bottle of Michelob beer found near the body.[9]


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