OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The Opelika Police Department has released new images nn a 2012 Jane Doe cold case.
On Jan. 28, 2012, one family recovered skeletal remains behind a mobile home in Brookhaven Trailer Park of Opelika, Alabama off of Hurst Street. A pink, long sleeve shirt with heart buttons and ruffles was found nearby on a creek bank. It is unconfirmed if the shirt belonged to the Jane Doe.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) shared the new forensic images of what the little girl may have looked like in a Facebook post Oct. 9, 2021.
Police and investigators hope the forensic images curated by a Smithsonian forensic anthropologist and NCMEC Forensic Artist will help identify the girl.
NCMEC’s Director of Communications said in a prepared statement, “Please take a moment to look closely at this face. This little girl needs your help. If you don’t recognize her, you can still help by sharing her image.”
Sgt. Alfred White and the Opelika Police Department continue to investigate. the case surrounding the Jane Doe.
Previous investigations and bone assessments determined she had been abused, malnourished, and neglected for years. Apparent abuse to her left eye was discovered, leaving her blind and scarred. Sgt. White shared the importance of these findings with the NCMEC.
“Based on feedback from experts, we believe that she could not see out of her injured eye and that injury could have occurred months to a year before her death… This information is vital because we know that the injury was visible to anyone who interacted with the girl and may play a crucial role in identifying her,” White shared in a news release.
After this information was released, photos from 2011 were recovered of a child that resembled what investigators believed the Jane Doe to look like, at a Vacation Bible School.
The VBS was held during the summer of 2011 at Greater Peace Baptist Community Church, about three miles from where her remains were found.
Officials believe she was between four to seven years old and killed between 2010-11.
A chemical isotope test was performed on her bones in previous investigations led to the belief Opelika Jane Doe was born and raised in Alabama or one of the surrounding states.
Investigators also have reason to believe the girl may be from Orlando, Florida after receiving tips.
“We know there are people who have information about who this child is. We’ve tracked down tips from across the country and now believe that she may have ties to the Orlando, Florida area,” said White. “We won’t stop until we can give this child her name back. She was just a little girl; she deserves dignity and a proper burial.”
Anyone with information can call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or the Opelika Police Department at 334-705-5200.