Thursday, April 26, 2007
Out for Justice: Two Jane Does
Two women found dead, years apart, within yards of each other. To this date, police don't know who they are or who killed them. Seven's Patrick Fraser spoke with Monroe County sheriff's deputies who are Out for Justice.
WSVN -- Detective Terry Smith, Monroe County Sheriff's Department: "She was found right at the end of the road."
When you are a cold case detective, you usually search for the killer; seldom do you have to search for the victims as well.
Detective Terry Smith: "We know very little about her. We don't know where she's from. We don't have a name."
Today, Terry Smith and Mark Coleman are trying to solve two separate cases in the Florida Keys -- not to find two killers, but to identify two victims found near Big Pine Key, found yards from each other years apart.
Detective Terry Smith: "We called her 'Valentine.'"
Since she was probably murdered on Valentine's Day in 1991, she is now know as Jane Doe Valentine -- left naked, brutally beaten and strangled with her own bikini top.
Detective Terry Smith: "The only thing that we know is that she was in her late teens to early twenties. Possibility that she carried a child a full term."
And Jane Doe Valentine was probably not from the Keys.
Detective Terry Smith: "Her clothing was not typical of someone who was from South Florida, and she did not have any tan lines at all."
Another indication she was visiting: She didn't wear tennis shoes or sandals.
Detective Terry Smith: "She was wearing black moccasins that had some bead work on them, some turquoise-style bead work."
Detectives could not find anyone who knew the woman, but they did find one person who remembered seeing her.
Detective Terry Smith: "The detectives back in '91 were able to find a witness that recognized her as being someone he had seen hitchhiking."
Few clues but now new hope as technology has allowed artists to create a more accurate likeness of her.
"She looks a little harder in this picture, a little more street-wise -- and, with her being a hitchhiker, it probably is a little more representative of what she actually did look like in life."
And just like Jane Doe Valentine, this Jane Doe died in the same area, 13 years earlier.
Detective Mark Coleman, Monroe County Sheriff's Department: "To this date, she's been unidentified. We don't have any idea who she is or where she came from."
The year was 1979, and, that day, the tide brought in more than seaweed.
Detective Mark Coleman: "She was found washed up on a rocky shore line, south end of Bahia Honda Bridge."
A young healthy female, dead, face down in a tidal pool.
Detective Mark Coleman: "She had been in the water for several hours, and there was no real trauma."
It's possible she just drowned while out swimming, but not likely. She was wearing jeans, and no one ever reported her missing.
Detective Mark Coleman: "She could have been somebody that was visiting with someone else. Something happened. Something went bad, and this is the end result."
Another young woman with no identity and no clues to her killer.
Detective Mark Coleman: "Someone out there knows something."
And that pushes the cold case detectives, who are reminded of the two women dying so close together each time they drive by this spot on U.S. 1.
Detective Mark Coleman: "We'd like to see some closure. At least, that way, we know that there's some family out there somewhere who's wondering what happened to their loved-one."
Somewhere a mother, a father, a brother or sister is wondering whatever happened to a young woman.
Detective Mark Coleman: "It will be good to contact them and let them know: 'Hey, this is what happened, and this is where they were.'"
And now that the years have passed, detectives are hoping that someone who knew something then will say something now.
Detective Mark Coleman: "Their attitude may be different nowadays, and they may come forward and tell us something. I think it would be the right thing to do, especially for the family/loved-ones of the victim."
A long time has passed since the two women died -- two women who need to be identified and two killers who need to be caught.
If you think you know anything that might help police call Crime Stoppers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Out for Justice