It’s a common belief that if a person is found deceased, investigators will quickly identify them and deliver the sorrowful news about their death to their loved ones. This isn’t the case for Beaufort County Jane Doe who was murdered and disposed of back in 1995. It was on May 24 of that year when a state employee was mowing grass on Cotton Hall Road in Yemassee, South Carolina at approximately 1:15 p.m. There, the city worker came across the remains of a woman laying face down in a ditch.
Beaufort County Jane Doe was only wearing underwear—a brand named Leonisa that investigators later learned was only manufactured in Colombia and sold in South and Central America. A medical examiner determined that Beaufort County Jane Doe had to have been moved at some point because rigor mortis showed that for at least the first twelve hours after her death, she was lying face up. It’s believed that she was killed anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before she was located.
An examination also revealed that Beaufort County Jane Doe had been beaten ad strangled to death, as there was bruising found on her body and around her neck. Dental records, fingerprints, and DNA samples were reportedly collected, but no one has come forward to claim her as a friend or family member. It is unclear if there was any other evidence collected that could lead investigators to the perpetrator responsible for her death. There was reportedly no evidence to suggest that she had been sexually assaulted.
At the time of her death, Beaufort County Jane Doe stood approximately 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed about 118 pounds. She is said to be either in her late 20s to mid-30s, had shoulder-length curly hair dyed red, and brown eyes (that may have changed color post-mortem). Her complexion was light brown. Beaufort County Jane Doe has manicured nails and double piercings in her ears.
Scars on her body indicate that she had undergone thyroid surgery, a cesarean section, and a hysterectomy. Her ethnic background is unclear, but it is believed that she is either Hispanic, Latinx, or biracial. Her DNA was analyzed in 2007 and it was biographically narrowed down to Beaufort County Jane Doe being from South America or a Caribbean country.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at 843-816-8013, the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office at 843-255-5150, or their local authorities.
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