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The West Alton Jane Doe: Unidentified since 1968

On February 1, 1968, two fishermen in West Alton, Missouri found a suitcase about 12 feet from the shore at Lake Alton. The suitcase had been tied with clothesline and weighed down with exercise weights — two inside and two outside. Inside the suitcase were human remains.

The body belonged to a young girl, between two and four years oldnow thought to be about two and a half. The girl had long blonde hair and was found wearing only a pair of white underwear. She’s thought to have died just a few weeks before her body was found. An autopsy was performed, but her cause of death couldn’t be determined. There were no outward sign of foul play, but her case is classified as a homicide.

The next day, a man came forward thinking the body of was that of his daughter, who had gone missing — along with his wife —about two months earlier. Footprints from the missing girl’s birth certificate were compared to Jane Doe’s but it wasn’t a match. Her body was buried about a week later in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Charles, Missouri.

After this, the case went cold for years. Around 2002, Stephanie Fisk of the St. Charles County Police Department came across the case. Years later, after being promoted to detective, Fisk requested to investigate the case herself. In 2015, Jane Doe’s body was exhumed for more forensic analysis, including a DNA profile. Several sources (including Websleuths) said investigators weren’t able to create a full profile, but I can’t confirm this. Jane Doe was reburied in November 2016.

A more modern reconstruction of what Jane Doe may have looked like, drawn by forensic artist Carl Koppelman

As you can tell, there’s very little information readily available on on this case. Police do know more details but haven’t released them to the public. This could be because they want to avoid false confessions — but again, I can’t confirm that.

So who was the West Alton Jane Doe? Unsurprisingly, many online speculators believe she was killed by a parent or other loved one. This could explain why no missing persons report has ever been found for her. In many cases of Doe children, such as Erica Green, their killers hid their death by telling people they were living with someone else. Or, in some cases, they hid the child’s existence from the world entirely in order to hide their abuse.

The suitcase Jane Doe's body was found in

Others wonder if this case could be connected to another Jane Doe found in the area a few months later. This body, which belonged to a young woman, was found along the Mississippi River in St. Louis (just 20 miles from West Alton) and weighed down by a tire chain. Could these two be mother and daughter, both killed and dumped in water, found in different areas just months apart? Whatever the case, the West Alton Jane Doe has been unidentified for over 50 years, and her killer has never been brought to justice.

final details

The West Alton Jane Doe, also known as Jane Doe West Alton, is an unidentified girl found in West Alton, Missouri in 1968. The girl was white, between two and four years old, with strawberry blonde hair. In life, she stood about 2 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 35 to 40 pounds and had a scar over one of her eyes.

If you have any information about this case, you can contact the St. Charles County Police Department at 1-636-949-3000. You can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST (843-5678).

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