JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — It’s a remarkable discovery 38 years later, now pushing deputies closer to figuring out what happened to a “Baby Jane Doe” who was found in a river in Jackson County Mississippi, in 1982.

Friday, on the eve of her death anniversary, the baby was identified as Alisha Ann Heinrich. It was December 5th, 1982 that a Baby Jane Doe (Alisha Ann Heinrich) was found in the Escatawpa River.

For 38 years she’s been known as Jane Doe, but this year the story behind Alisha Ann Heinrich will forever live on in this community.

“I prayed to God that one day we’ll find out who that baby was before I die. Well, I’m fixin’ to be 83 years old and I thank God I lived long enough to get that baby’s name,” said Virgil Moore.

Just days after a Baby Jane Doe was found in Jackson County Mississippi, it was Moore who stepped up and made sure this case did not go unsolved.

“I asked the Sheriff about reopen the case and I got hope and we started working on it,” said Moore.

In 2009, the baby’s body was exhumed for DNA samples to be sent to the Univerisity of North Texas.

Nearly ten years later, in September 2020, it was revealed that Baby Jane Doe was Alisha Ann Heinrich. She went missing from Joplin, Missouri in 1982 with her mother Gwendolyn Mae Clemons (Heinrich).

Through the investigation, family members said Gwendolyn and her baby Alisha left with the suspect, a male friend, on Thanksgiving heading to Florida to start a new life. He is now deceased. The mother Gwendolyn is still missing.

“The family had no idea. They were still under the assumption that Alisha was still alive and living somewhere,” said a Jackson County investigator who told the family they had found baby Alisha.

Many investigators all poured into this investigation looking for answers. Although there’s still more to unfold, knowing her identity and uncovering her story can finally bring some closure to this unnerving case.

Moore said Monday they will be taking the necessary steps to change the current headstone out with Alisha’s name on it. He also reached out to the family to see if they wanted the baby transported back to Missouri, they opted to let her remain here in Pascagoula.