On March 30th, 1980, the partially decomposed body of a young woman was discovered on the beach near Cedar Point Road in Sandusky, Ohio. She was determined to be Caucasian, between the ages of 20-30, and estimated to be about 5’5” tall and 120lbs. The young woman was wearing a size 12 “disco style” dress. No hair, scars, jewelry or identifying items were found on her. Erie County Jane Doe remains unidentified to this day.
“Back in 1980 Erie County Jane Doe and her loved ones were victimized,” said Porchlight Project board member Nic Edwards, host of the popular True Crime Garage podcast. “They continue to be victimized to this very day. I believe that somewhere there is family that has been deceived and led to believe that she did not want them in her life. That is not true. She has been here, waiting for forty years to be given a name so that her loved ones can be located and notified. I look forward to identifying this Jane Doe and finally providing answers to those who have waited for so long.”
For this latest case, the Porchlight Project will contract with Bode Technology for new DNA testing and genetic genealogy.
“Our mission at Bode is to continue to advance science and DNA technology to improve public safety and provide answers to victims and their families. Our experience in testing more than 30,000 unidentified remains has helped us become a resource to law enforcement worldwide,” said Teresa Vreeland, Director of Forensic Genealogy Services at Bode. “We are thankful for the opportunity to support The Porchlight Project and the Sandusky Police Department in researching and investigating the identity of Erie County Jane Doe. We hope that our work helps in preventing tomorrow’s victim.”
“The Sandusky Police Department is excited to work with the Porchlight Project along with Bode Technology,” said Lt. Scott Dahlgren. “We hope to be able to bring closure to a woman’s family who have lived far too long without knowing the whereabouts of their loved one. Our agency hopes that we can now bring a sense of closure and comfort to them. This is a great partnership and we hope for a positive outcome with identifying Jane Doe.”
James Renner is the founder of the Porchlight Project. Scene editor Vince Grzegorek is a board member.