Fishermen found woman’s body in 1982. These new images might help identify ‘Jane Doe’

In April 1982, fishermen in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, were on the Black Warrior River when they found a woman’s body, news outlets reported.

The woman had been severely beaten, and there was evidence of sexual assault, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

“Investigators spent a great deal of time searching missing person reports, and publicizing this case, but were unable to identify the victim,” the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on March 29.

Now, nearly 41 years later, deputies released new images of the Jane Doe in hopes of finding out who she was and who killed her.

Investigators at the time thought the woman had been fishing in the area when she was attacked, based on the clothes she was wearing, but they did not believe that she was from the area, according to the Doe Network.

Witnesses told investigators that someone matching the woman’s description had been seen with a man in his late 30s two days prior to her body being found, the Doe Network reported.

The woman’s Doe profile said witnesses had seen the man and woman on the side of the road after their vehicle had gotten stuck in a muddy area. The woman had asked the witnesses for help while the man looked “visibly upset” in the car.

Witnesses said he yelled at the woman and blamed her for the car getting stuck, according to the Doe Network.

“The case has been investigated diligently, and has been revisited throughout the years, but the victim has never been identified,” the sheriff’s office said.

In 2013, the body of Jane Doe was exhumed to try to gather more evidence or information using DNA testing that wasn’t available in the ’80s, reported.

The woman remained a Jane Doe.

Working with the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Lab at Louisiana State University, deputies created new images of Jane Doe that are “life-like” and “representative of how a victim would have actually appeared in life,” according to the sheriff’s office.

“We are releasing these images to the public now in hopes that an acquaintance or family member may recognize the victim, so that she can be identified, and provide new leads into the investigation of her death,” the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies listed identifiable features for the woman, including that she was white and 5 foot, 3 inches tall with dark brown or black shoulder-length hair. The woman had Type O blood and wore size 7 tennis shoes.

The medical examiner also reported that she had been pregnant at some point in her life, and she may have had a child, deputies said.

The images were shared in color and black and white.

If you have experienced sexual assault and need someone to talk to, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit the hotline's online chatroom.

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