Someone, Somewhere, Knows Baby Jane Doe


By Hannah Lester

It’s been 10 years since Baby Jane Doe’s remains were found in Opelika.

In January of 2012, a child’s remains were found in the 1700 block of Hurst Street in a wooded area. According to Coroner Bill Harris, a dog had dug up the skull, which led to an investigation of the area.

Baby Jane Doe was believed to be between the ages of four and seven, Harris said, and to date, she has yet to be identified.

Last week, the Opelika Police Department, in conjunction with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office and guests from the Child Advocacy Center gathered at the place where she was found to honor her memory.

Lee County District Attorney Jessica Ventiere said that she has wondered many times over the last decade how it is that the child has remained unidentified.

“In today’s day and time, when we have so many modern advancements and we have so many tools at our disposal, how is this even possible?” she said. “And then the reality of why we don’t have an identity struck me even more, that somebody knows but they chose not to say. And because of that, we don’t know who Baby Jane Doe really is.”

Sgt. Alfred White, with The Opelika Police Department, said that the case will never be closed.

“We don’t close any murders and say that we’ve given up on any murders, but this one is especially special to us because of her age and the circumstances of this case, but we don’t give up on any murders and we’re certainly not going to give up on the murder of a child,” he said.

He said that anyone who may have information regarding Baby Jane Doe should report it and not fear repercussion, because there are secret witness hotlines.

“I understand that this is a case that we may be asking someone to call in their family member, their mom maybe, their daughter, their aunt, their sister, whomever, so I understand that,” he said. “… We have means for someone who wants to remain anonymous to give this tip. We also have a reward.”

The secret witness hotline for OPD is: 334-745-8665.

“Words like determined, committed, persevering, don’t do justice what [the department has] done for this case,” Ventiere said. “There is not one speck of dust on the Baby Jane Doe case file, I can guarantee you that.”

Ventiere said that the District Attorney’s Office is at OPD’s disposal.

“While we don’t know who Baby Jane Doe is, we all here are her family,” she said. “We here are her people. We’re the ones who love her, we’re the ones who miss her, we’re the ones who mourn her and we’ll do that until the day comes where we can meet her face-to-face and we’ll know her name without a doubt.”

Harris said that he believes the city is close to discovering the child’s identity.

“We’ve got some things in the works that are hopefully going to give us some answers pretty soon, can’t speak about those at this moment because we just don’t want to put a whole lot out there, but I’m confident that we’ll have a conclusion here pretty soon,” Harris said.


White echoed Harris and said he doesn’t doubt that the identity of the girl will be revealed.

Jan. 28, last Friday, was cold and dreary as pink balloons were released in Baby Jane Doe’s honor.

“One thing I’m really impressed with today — Sgt. White bringing us to the place where she was found, so that we can really see the area but more than that, it’s freezing cold out here, it’s wet, it’s gray and just to imagine that this is where she ended up with nobody valuing her enough to do more for her is just, you really get a stark reminder of that when you’re actually here and you feel how cold it is and you get to really see this area,” Ventiere said.


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