- 11 "John and Jane Doe" cases in Crittenden County
- Sheriff's Dept. is teaming up with Ark. State Crime Lab
- Entering evidence into two missing persons websites
(Crittenden County, AR 7/10/2009) Unsolved murder mysteries, bodies found, but never identified. Tonight there's a new push to solve these "John and Jane Doe" cases.
The Arkansas State Crime Lab is teaming up with the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department, fusing technology, in an effort to solve these crimes.
There are 11 "John and Jane Doe" cases in Crittenden County. Investigators are digging into their files as far back as 25 years to help give these unidentified bodies names.
Chief Investigator Tommy Martin walks us through the 11 cases. There was an adult female hit by a car in 1987.
"She was walking along the north service road of Highway 61, upwards in north part of the county," said Chief Inv. Martin.
In 1986, a man was found inside a utility building along Highway 70 in Proctor.
"He was decapitated, found his body no head," he said.
About half of these cases were ruled homicides, the rest have been ruled "undetermined." Many victims were found floating in the Mississippi River.
For the past couple of months, Chief Inv. Martin's been entering all of the evidence into two websites. Namus.gov and Identifyus.org contain information about missing and unidentified persons from across the country.
Everything from photos of the clothing they were found in, to the jewelry they were wearing, to the tattoos on their bodies.
Over the phone, Unidentified Remains Coordinator Chris Edwards at the Arkansas State Crime Lab tells WREG the goal of this project is simple.
"We will eventually bring closure to these families, bring a name to these faces, that's what we're working at," he said.
Martin echoes that sentiment. He says the 11 Crittenden County cases don't appear to be local.
"None of the 11 are from this area, we're looking at them being from other parts of country but that's 11 families waiting for answers for 25 years," he said.
In five of the cases, they've sent DNA from the remains away to the FBI and a private lab in Texas to be analyzed. But some of the cases are just too old and DNA wasn't available.