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Thread: Familial DNA Shows UID Teenage Girl Found In Apache Junction, AZ In 1992 Had Links to Pittsylvania County, VA Families

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Familial DNA Shows UID Teenage Girl Found In Apache Junction, AZ In 1992 Had Links to Pittsylvania County, VA Families

    https://www.chathamstartribune.com/n...b03825198.html



    Facial approximation made by the FBI in 2012 from skull photographs and dental radiographs.

    APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. and CHATHAM, Va. ? On Aug. 6, 1992, the body of an unidentified teenage girl was located in the Sonoran Desert 30 miles east of Phoenix in Apache Junction, Arizona. Decades later, forensic investigators would tie this girl, whose identity remains unknown to this day, to Pittsylvania County.

    The unidentified female will be referred to in this story as Jane Doe.

    Stephanie Bourgeois, a crime scene technician for the Apache Junction Police Department, told the Star-Tribune that Jane's genealogy suggests that she has relatives who live or lived in Virginia, "especially Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties."

    A body found



    Shirt found on Jane Doe's body.


    Pants found on Jane Doe's body.

    On that scorching summer day in 1992, a local resident was walking his dog through the desert south of U.S. Highway 60 and west of Idaho Road in Apache Junction when he stumbled across Jane's body. Old Farmer's Almanac harks 104-degree heat that day, and Jane had already been deceased for three to five weeks. Her remains were described as "unrecognizable" and "mummified."

    "That area at the time was just open desert," Bourgeois said. "That highway, the U.S. 60, goes past this desert area so big trucks can get off. Back then in 1992, the highway didn?t come out there. It was a very, very rural desert area. Just desert for miles."

    The man who reported Jane's body to police was a seasonal resident getting an early start on his annual southerly migration.

    "We have a lot of snowbirds that come to the desert and walk around," Bourgeois said. "The gentleman that located her remains was interviewed and determined not to be a suspect."

    Her age at death is estimated to be around 16 years old. She was 5-foot-1 with brown hair held in a ponytail by an elastic band. She was discovered wearing blue cut-off denim pants and a white T-shirt with soccer balls on the front and back. Her pants, bra and underwear, although inside-out, were fastened and in place.

    She was also found wearing a yellow metal ring with a nugget design on her left ring finger.

    Ties to Pittsylvania County

    In 2018, Apache Junction Police Department solicited the help of DNA Doe Project, a California not-for-profit corporation that has made identifications in more than 50 cases nationwide involving unidentified bodies.

    Franchesca Werden, a representative of the organization, told the Star-Tribune that seven surnames tie Jane to Southside Virginia.

    "The detective that was on the case basically said, 'We?ve had this case since 1992 and we haven?t been able to identify her,'" Werden said.

    Jane was 50 percent Hispanic, 25 percent Black and 25 percent White. Her paternal Black side is what ties her to Pittsylvania County.

    "I don?t specialize in the genealogy of Virginia and Maryland, but I know that people with roots in those areas tend to go really far back," Werden said. "A lot of families have been in the area since Virginia was a colony, or they?ve traced their genealogy to the 1700s."

    Werden identified the names Chandler, Dixon, Graves, Lovelace and Patrick in Jane's family tree as those suggesting a tie to her Black family in Southern Virginia.

    A mystery relative

    Authorities to date have made contact with one definite blood relative of Jane's and identified another who, if he is still alive, is 68 years old. Bourgeois said the search for this man is ongoing in Southern Virginia as well as Louisiana, Mexico and Germany.

    "On Jane's paternal side, we have made contact with the first or second cousin," Bourgeois said. "We found out that Jane is related on that person's paternal side. That person's father has about ten children, two of which are half-siblings, and Jane is related to those half-siblings. This is where we're at a standstill."


    Further facial approximation made by the FBI in 2012 from skull photographs and dental radiographs.

    Authorities obtained the birth certificate of one half-sibling: Bernhard Neumann. He was born in 1953 in Darmstadt-Eberstadt, Germany.

    Jane's cousin told Bourgeois that her father was in the military had Bernhard while stationed in Germany.

    "We are trying to locate Bernhard," Bourgeois said. "His mother's name is Else Neumann, but she is probably deceased. I don't know if she stayed in Germany or came over to the U.S. He may have even been adopted out and his name is not Bernhard anymore."

    Neumann is not a suspect, but rather a person Apache Junction Police need to identify if they have any hope of one day identifying Jane.

    "If anyone in Pittsylvania County knows of a Bernhard Neumann, that's the only thing we have to go on," Bourgeois said. "That's where we're stuck."

    Waiting for answers

    Werden said Southside Virginia residents can help the case by putting their own family tree or at-home DNA test results online if they feel comfortable doing so, especially if that tree contains one of the seven surnames tying Jane to Pittsylvania County.

    "Most families of a Doe have been waiting decades for answers," Werden said. "It is a very bittersweet thing when identifications are made."

    Although almost nothing is known about this young woman who would now be in her late 40s, one piece of evidence dating back to 1992 provides a tiny window into her teenage life.

    In her pocket, along with a corroded quarter and penny, contained a Phoenix Transit System token inscribed with the words, "Valid for student fare."

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    Scoopski Potatoes Nic B's Avatar
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    Her clothes are pretty clean considering she had been there so long....


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??
    Quote Originally Posted by curiouscat View Post
    Happy Birthday! I hid a dead body in your backyard to celebrate. Good luck finding it under the cement. You can only use a stick to look for it.

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    What do you care? Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    Her clothes are pretty clean considering she had been there so long....
    Smart observation! You're right. Would they have washed them? You would think it would be evidence unless they determined that she died of natural causes. Strange.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    That is too pretty to be shoved up an ass.

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    Scoopski Potatoes Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Babe 73 View Post
    Smart observation! You're right. Would they have washed them? You would think it would be evidence unless they determined that she died of natural causes. Strange.
    That was my thought, surely they didn't wash them since there could be evidence/dna???


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??
    Quote Originally Posted by curiouscat View Post
    Happy Birthday! I hid a dead body in your backyard to celebrate. Good luck finding it under the cement. You can only use a stick to look for it.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Also, do I understand correctly that all of her clothes were found on her, but they were inside out and fastened? I find that really odd.

    Hard to believe these are the actual garments found on her body. She putrified and then mummified - these clothes would be completely saturated with bodily fluids, wouldn't they? Maybe they HAD to clean the clothes to figure out what was printed on the shirt in hopes of identifying her. I would imagine when the body gets to that point of decomposition, it would be almost impossible to identify and obtain contact evidence anyway.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
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    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/un...-doe-cold-case

    Unsolved: DNA match reveals major development in decades-old Jane Doe cold case

    DNA evidence helps investigators make a major discovery

    In 2008, Apache Junction Police officer and crime scene technician, Stephanie Bourgeois, took over the case.

    "For me, it's more about her family, her identity, and just giving her name back," she said.

    As the case got colder a decade later, Bourgeois discovered DDP, the DNA Doe Project, which has a team of genetic genealogists helping law enforcement across the country to identify the unidentified using a DNA profile to reveal one's family tree.

    In the summer of 2021, police said they had the biggest lead yet in this nearly 30-year-old cold case.

    After getting in contact with Jane's cousin, investigators learn of Jane's half-aunt who learned she had a half-brother via a birth certificate left by her father. But, the challenge was finding her half-brother, Bernhard Lyon Neumann.

    "Bernhard had been, last we knew we had his birth certificate, and he, we believed, was either in Germany or the United States because he had been born in Germany," Bourgeois said.

    Bernhard was born in 1953 and his mother is identified as a German woman named Else Neumann. Bourgeois says Bernhard's African American father served in the military while stationed in Germany.
    ?Very emotional?

    When asked what the odds were at first when beginning the search for Bernhard, Bourgeois said, "I did not have high hopes that we would find Bernhard because we only had his birthday and his biological parents' names and his birth name."

    Cairenn Binder with DDP admits the odds were slim, but recently, the U.S. Department of State stepped in and helped locate Bernhard in North Carolina.

    When asked what Bernhard's reaction was when he learned he had a relative who was unidentified for nearly 30 years, Bourgeois says he was "very emotional."

    Like Jane, Bernhard's own family history has been a mystery.

    Bourgeois says when he enlisted in the military at 18, he found out his parents adopted him as a baby. In fact, he's never actually gone by the name Bernhard.

    The name his adoptive parents gave him has not been made public.

    "He didn't have a lot of information about his biological parents. So, for him to hear that, you know, there was a possible relative of his, but he just, you know, she didn't have a name. We didn't know who her parents were. He, unfortunately, doesn't have a lot of information because he didn't know his biological parents as well. He only knew his adoptive parents," Bourgeois explained.

    Bernhard willingly uploaded his DNA to GEDmatch, a global database where anyone can provide their DNA.

    The match came back with answers. The man born as Bernhard is Jane's uncle.

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    "We realized, that since he is a full uncle, he has a full sibling out there, somewhere, who is Apache Junction Jane Doe's father," Binder said.

    The problem is, he doesn't know much about his brother.

    "What we don't know is the age of that sibling, if they were older or younger than Bernhard, whether they were adopted to the United States, who they were adopted by and how that person has a connection to Apache Junction Jane Doe, although we do know that, that has to be her father," Binder said.
    What's next?

    There hasn't been a break in the case as far as finding her possible father.

    "We tried to locate any siblings with birth certificates with maybe the same biological parents on them. But we just haven't had any luck," Bourgeois said.

    Now, Bourgeois and Binder are on the search for a man who is half African American and German, possibly adopted by a military family with ties to New York. At some point, this man met the mother of Apache Junction Jane Doe.

    A genetic map with international roots, and a destination in Arizona.

    "We're farther along in this case than we've ever been and we've worked so hard and Apache Junction Police Department has worked so hard, and we really hope that this is the year that we'll finally identify Apache Junction Jane Doe," Binder said.

    If you know anything about Jane's biological father based on the information provided, contact the Apache Junction Police Department at 480-982-8260, or visit https://dnadoeproject.org/.

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    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/un...-doe-cold-case

    Unsolved: DNA match reveals major development in decades-old Jane Doe cold case
    At least they have a start now in trying to figure out who she was.

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