It’s been a little over 30 years now, since that tragic Sunday afternoon. A Valentine’s Day in 1988, when someone made a gruesome discovery. A teenage girl, between the ages of 16 and 22 was found dead inside a dumpster. Someone had taken this girl and wrapped her in a sheet of plastic then duct taped it, then stuffed her into a large duffle bag / nylon suitcase (verbiage changes depending on which reports you read) and somehow placed the suitcase inside the dumpster. Here is an image of the actual bag she was found in, as depicted on the Missing & Exploited Children website.
Personally, this sounds to me like someone had done some serious thinking about how to dispose of a person, or whoever did this had experience. I think this is likely not the killer’s first time.
She had been dead since at least early Thursday or as long as seven days prior, so perhaps that previous Monday. Maybe the suitcase was at the bottom of the dumpster, and when the trash service came to collect and emptied the dumpster, the suitcase at the bottom was then visible on the back of the truck and someone looked inside? Or perhaps she was inside the suitcase somewhere else first, and only placed into the dumpster that morning, and the suitcase was easily visible from outside.
This young lady is listed as Asian in NamUs, but listed as Asian or Asian/Caucasion on the GBI site. She was 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 140 pounds. She had long, dark brown hair and probably had brown eyes. Below are two possible renditions of what she may have looked like in life.
Who is this teenager? I know someone is missing her somewhere and wondering what happened to her. She was well cared for in life. Unfortunately, what happened to her was likely awful. The cause of death is listed as asphyxiation and there are no more details given than that.
So much has changed in 30 years that I feel certain that if investigators were to revisit this case, they would be able to learn more about this person, enough to hopefully give her a name. Let’s begin revisiting this case right here, to find out what questions still need to be asked and get this case back in the spotlight.
First, we know this person died in 1988 and was between 16 and 22 years old. That would place her birth year sometime between 1971 and 1966. With technological advances, specifically Carbon-14 dating using teeth, I bet we can pinpoint a much more accurate age now. Speaking of teeth, this teen had crooked teeth and recent dental work, and dental information is available per NamUs. This is very good news if her family kept her dental records, as this should be easily identifiable. Another thing that we can do with modern technology is test teeth to determine where a person has lived recently. That would be very useful considering the fact that this girl was found in rural Georgia, on the outskirts of the poor city of Millen, which had roughly 3,800 people in it, and of those, only 0.17% were Asian (Wikipedia, 2018).
I think it is extremely unlikely that she came from a nearby town. I live in the CSRA, so I know how rural it gets here. There is nothing near Millen except for Magnolia Springs State Park. If a local girl were to go missing, it would be noticed quickly. Here is something interesting. Some accounts state she was found just outside the city limits north of Millen (see left X below) and some accounts state she was found at the corner of Perkins and the Bypass (see right X below). That’s a pretty big variance in the location, so it’s hard to tell exactly where she was found. I think if she was found near Perkins, perhaps it is someone familiar with the area, since back then the Bypass did not exist, and the road on the left is the main road going north/south in Millen.
I understand that police may not have been able to obtain fingerprint information given she had been deceased for a few days, and DNA was not something that was easy to test back then. Now, however, we should be able to get a DNA sample from evidence or exhumation and track next of kin that way. It has become common practice for families of missing persons to submit their DNA. I think it is possible that we can find a match that way. There is a strong possibility here of a DNA match.
I also feel certain that there must by a strong modus operandi here by the killer. I believe the reports are holding back information from the public. If this case is revisited and looked at thoroughly with modern eyes and access to large databases of information, perhaps a pattern will emerge and a serial killer can be stopped. Please share and help give this Jane Doe a name and catch her killer. If you have additional information or insight, please post a comment or feel free to email me directly.
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