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NV WASHOE COUNTY JANE DOE: WF, 25-35, found near Lake Tahoe, NV - 17 July 1982 *GRAPHIC**Mary Silvani*

Discussion in 'Identified!' started by Scorpio, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Update on Sheep Flat Jane Doe: We have some good DNA matches for Sheep Flat Jane Doe and at this point are optimistic we’ll identify her. From her matches we think that at least one of her grandparents was from Italy or of Italian descent.

  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Sheep Flat Jane Doe has been IDENTIFIED! :happydance:


    DDP would like to report that Sheep Flat Jane Doe has been tentatively identified, pending final confirmation. Our Jane Doe was born in Michigan and her father was Italian. We should be able to provide more details once confirmed.

    Special Thanks to Carl Koppelman who is always so generous with his amazing artwork. [​IMG]
  3. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I just saw that on Facebook earlier this evening! How exciting! I just love this DNA group.
    KareBear, spike and Akoya like this.
  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    It's just amazing isn't it? The murder of 8 year old April Tinsley was also just solved by the Gedmatch database as well.
    KareBear, Whatsnext, spike and 2 others like this.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I predict this way of identifying is going to continue to grow and grow and grow. Soon our job will only be to find people that need to submit their DNA if they have a missing person in their families.
  6. Romulus

    Romulus In the earth of missing person


    156UFNV - Unidentified Female
    Pending possible identification

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Reconstructions of the victim by Harvey Pratt, Carl Koppelman and Wesley Neville; victim's clothing. To view a postmortem photo of the victim, please click here.

    Date of Discovery: July 17, 1982
    Location of Discovery: Lake Tahoe, Washoe County, Nevada
    Estimated Date of Death: Hours
    State of Remains: Recognizable face
    Cause of Death: Homicide by gunshot wound to the head

    Physical Description
    Estimated Age: 25-35 years old
    Race: White
    Gender: Female
    Height: 5'2?"
    Weight: 112 lbs.
    Hair Color: Light brown, or blond, shoulder-length and tied back in a bun.
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Distinguishing Marks/Features: She had a 4 - 5" surgical scar on the abdomen and a vaccination scar on the upper left arm. The big toenail on the left foot was black from extensive bruise. She may have given birth to at least one child.

    Dentals: Available. Her dental work indicated at first that she may have lived in Europe.
    Fingerprints: Available.
    DNA: Available.

    Clothing & Personal Items
    Clothing: She wore a white lace bathing suit, size medium, underneath Lee Rider blue jeans and a powder-blue, size medium, sleeveless Buntees Sportswear T-shirt. She also wore pale yellow tennis shoes, size 6.
    Jewelry: Unknown
    Additional Personal Items: Unknown

    Circumstances of Discovery
    Hikers found this victim slumped forward over a log as if she had been tying her shoe when her attacker shot her from behind.

    The detective in charge of the case surmises that she knew and trusted her attacker, as there was no sign of a struggle at the scene.

    After she was shot, a pair of men's underwear was placed over the wound.

    Her dental work suggested she may have resided in Europe, but recent DNA testing indicates the victim had spent significant time in the Western part of the country. Investigators theorize she may have been estranged from loved ones at the time she died.

    The DNA Doe Project analyzed the victim's DNA and determined she likely had at least one grandparent who was Italian.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    Agency Name: Washoe County Medical Examiner/Coroner's Office
    Agency Contact Person: Marika Morris
    Agency Phone Number: 775-785-6114
    Agency E-Mail: N/A
    Agency Case Number: 0620-82

    Agency Name: Washoe County Sheriff's Office
    Agency Contact Person: Detective Rick Garretson
    Agency Phone Number: 775-328-3337
    Agency E-Mail: N/A
    Agency Case Number: Unknown

    NCIC Case Number: Unknown
    NamUs Case Number: 8427

    Information Source(s)
    Kolo TV 8
    Facebook - DNA Doe Project
    Secret Witness
  7. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member

    Saw that today, there will be an update!


    UPDATE 6-May-2019 Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam to announce major breakthrough in 37-year-old murder investigation Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam will host a press conference Tuesday morning to announce a major breakthrough in the 37-year-old investigation into the murder of a woman known only as Sheep’s Flat Jane Doe. Sheriff Balaam will be joined by members of the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division and Forensic Science Division as well as representatives from the DNADoe Project and Identifinders International, who provided invaluable assistance with this investigation. What: Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam hosts press conference to discuss breakthrough in the Sheep’s Flat Jane Doe murder investigation When: 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Where: Nevada Room, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, 911 Parr Blvd., Reno Contact: Bob Harmon: (775) 785-6235
  8. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Excellent! Boy, that DNA doe project is on fire! I love them!
  9. Redrover

    Redrover Well-Known Member

  10. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    GarAndMo49 and spike like this.
  11. Redrover

    Redrover Well-Known Member

    There is a picture of her on the DNADOEPROJECT Facebook page. Not real clear but you can tell. The suspect has already passed and that is a shame.
  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

  13. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    I posted this elsewhere but now have found you Mary. RIP
    Sheep's Flat Jane Doe: DNA identifies victim, suspect in 1982 killing

    Balaam credited the DNA Doe Project and IdentiFinders International for helping solve the case. He said the same techniques to solve this case were used to identify the Golden State Killer in 2018.
    12:12 p.m. update:
    Balaam said most of the family of Salvini was deceased, but remaining family members have been notified.

    Investigators have not yet been able to determine any prior link between the victim and suspect.
    According to DNA testing, the Sheep's Flat Jane Doe has been identified as Mary Edith Silvani, who was born on Sept. 29, 1948. Her parents, John and Blanche Silvani, lived in Detroit. The Detroit Police Department provided fingerprints from Mary Silvani from a 1974 misdemeanor arrest. The prints were a match with Jane Doe.

    Her suspected killer has been named as James Richard Curry, who died in 1983 in police custody in California. He had confessed to three other murders.

    More @https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2019...eriff-announce-major-breakthrough/1130650001/
    Whatsnext and Kimster like this.
  14. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    You did know we had a thread on her! Sorry, I'm a day late and a dollar short.
    Whatsnext, spike and ima.grandma like this.
  15. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    Awesome :thankyou:
    ima.grandma and Kimster like this.
  16. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    For 37 years, Mary Silvani lay in a nameless grave in Nevada, the victim of a heinous and heartless act.

    A man had raped and killed her. Her family had abandoned her. No friends ever reported her missing, so she was designated a Jane Doe — her burial service attended only by grave diggers.

    It wasn't until last month that Silvani's identity and Detroit roots were revealed, largely with the help of DNA, family records and stories from distant relatives. Still, there was little to be known about Silvani — until now.

    This week, after reading a story about Silvani in the Free Press, friends from Silvani's high school days in Detroit have come forward to honor her memory. They're sad, angry and frustrated about her death, and, about losing touch with a girl from the neighborhood who clearly needed friends and a support system.

    Silvani, who attended Mackenzie High School in the late 1960s, came from a fractured family. Her mother left when she was a child. Her father died when she was in high school. Her two brothers eventually went their own ways, leaving her on her own. And, she had a child that she gave up for adoption, according to her friends.

    Her old friends from the neighborhood, meanwhile, want people to know that Silvani was more than a crime victim from a broken family, and that she once laughed, danced, swam, teased her hair, hung out at a burger joint, loved reading, art and going to the Detroit Institute of Arts. She was more than the victim in the news, the 33-year-old woman in jeans, bathing suit and yellow sneakers whose life ended at the hands of a serial killer on a Nevada hiking trail, they said.

    Silvani was one of them. And she got lost along the way.

    Mary Silvani, who was killed in Nevada in 1982 and remained a Jane Doe for 37 years, rides with friends through Detroit in the 1960s. Her Detroit friends did not learn about her death until this month. (Photo: Nancy Cumming)

    "For someone to wind up like that, that's just wrong. She was a nice, nice girl and she didn't deserve that," said Nancy Cumming of Colorado, a high school friend of Silvani's who spoke through tears. "When I knew her, she was a sweet, sort of lost soul. ... She was quiet, very unassuming and unpretentious. ... I can't imagine someone doing to her what they did."

  17. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I love that picture of her and I'm thankful someone was willing to share it.
    Scorpio, Whatsnext and ima.grandma like this.
  18. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    Yes, she looks so happy and carefree. ❤️
    Scorpio, Whatsnext and Kimster like this.
  19. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    Mary Silvani, far left, is a bridesmaid for friend Nancy Cumming in Detroit in 1968. Silvani was killed in Nevada in 1982 and was known as a Jane Doe for 37 years. Cumming did not learn about Silvani's death until reading about it in the Free Press in May 2019. (Photo: Harry Paul Loosemore)
    GarAndMo49, ima.grandma and Whatsnext like this.
  20. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    For 37 years the woman’s remains have been in a lonely, nameless grave at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Cemetery in Reno, Nevada.

    Police knew almost nothing about her, just that she was found shot to death near Lake Tahoe in 1982. And no one had been looking for her.

    But with the help of DNA sleuths, who used samples from the crime scene, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office was able in the past year to find some closure, identifying the victim and the suspect, whose names they announced Tuesday.

    “This is an incredible story, and I am extremely proud of the work done by everyone who took part in this case over the past three decades,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said.

    The woman was Mary Silvani, who grew up in the Detroit area, moved to California and was probably estranged from her family. She was 33 when she died, dressed for a fun day by the water, her bathing suit underneath a T-shirt and shorts.

    Her body was found near a popular hiking trail on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. With authorities unable to identify her or her relatives, she was buried in an unmarked grave.

    He was James Curry, who spent time in prison in Texas and ended up in California. Authorities believe he killed a husband and wife who owned rival storage units. When he was caught, he told police about another body in one of his storage units.

    While he awaited his murder trial in 1983, he tried to take his own life and died from injuries days later. He was 36 years old.

    It is unknown whether Silvani and Curry knew each other, whether he took her to the lake that day, or whether he came upon her by chance.

    Those questions will always remain a mystery.

    A lecture on forensic genealogy changed the case
    Authorities originally thought Silvani, who had no ID, was born in Europe based on “unique dental work” and an inoculation scar, Balaam said. They compared her DNA, fingerprints and dental records to hundreds of missing women who were physically similar to their victim.

    They were no matches, and no one who knew Silvani filed a missing person’s report.

    She became known as Sheep’s Flat Jane Doe, a name given to her based on the trail where she was found.

    The trail to finding her killer was cold for many years.

    The case had gone on so long detectives who followed it had retired. And until five years ago the sheriff’s department didn’t have a unit that focused on cold cases.

    Seventeen months ago, some of the detectives from the sheriff’s office went to a convention where they saw Colleen Fitzpatrick of Identifinders International and the DNA Doe Project lecture on forensic genealogy.

    Fitzpatrick said they came to her about the case, even before this kind of DNA detective work made a splash by helping to solve the case of the Golden State Killer.

    “You have to credit the sheriff’s department for some forward thinking,” she said.

    Authorities announced Tuesday that they had use DNA to learn the names of Silvani and her killer.

    Authorities last year sent DNA from the victim and the suspect, found on the Silvani’s body, for genetic testing. Genealogical sleuths from the DNA Doe Project used a DNA database called GEDMatch to identify family members of the victim. They tracked down her parents and learned they had only one daughter.

    Silvani had been fingerprinted after a 1974 misdemeanor arrest, and the victim’s prints matched.

    Still, they needed to identify the killer to close the case.

    Research on the suspect’s DNA showed he was the grandson of a couple in Texas, but there was a twist. Researchers learned the suspect’s father and mother had a son out of wedlock and she raised him under a different name.

    Once they narrowed it down to Curry, his two children were asked if they would provide DNA samples. Those tests proved the link between Curry and the killing, authorities said.

    “If everybody had not done their job as this went along, this case never would have been solved,” Detective Kathleen Bishop said.

    A spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Bob Harmon, said there has already been conversations about placing a headstone with Silvani’s name on it at her grave.
    Whatsnext likes this.

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