There wasn’t anything peculiar happening in Clinton, Iowa on April 11, 1975. A fisherman and his 16-year-old son from nearby Sabula, an island that boasts less than 1,000 residents, certainly didn’t expect to come across a grisly scene while traveling along the Mississippi River.

It was there that the fisherman stumbled upon the remains of a Black woman or girl who, according to authorities, could have been as young as 12-years-old. Jane Doe suffered a gunshot wound to the head, reportedly located behind her right ear. By the time she was found, her body was so badly decomposed that pinpointing the time of death or any specifics about her descriptors proved to be difficult. A medical examiner later determined that the young woman was approximately 10 weeks pregnant and she was killed sometime earlier in the year.

According to databases, the unidentified woman could have been any age between 12 and 23, and she was 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 4 inches tall. It’s estimated that she was somewhere between 100 to 120 pounds at the time of her death. Authorities logged her fingerprints and dental records, but she has yet to be identified. There were plenty of leads at the onset of the investigation that took detectives from Iowa to Illinois to North Carolina, but nothing seemed to pan out in the end. Jane Doe is the oldest unidentified person in Clinton’s database.

In 2001, the Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln told the Quad-City Times that Jane Done’s death is one that continues to plague investigators.

“Some of the older deputies who were around then said maybe somebody out of Chicago or Milwaukee had a pregnant girlfriend and got rid of her. We might never know,” Lincoln told the publication.

The unidentified woman was later laid to rest in an unmarked grave at a cemetery in Clinton, Iowa.

[source]
Journalist. Activist. Abolitionist. Storyteller. OurBlackGirls.com Insta: @EarthToErikaMarie | Twitter: @OurBlackGirls

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