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Coroner's Office Calls On Public To Help Close Cold Case

The bust of Jane Doe was created based on crime scene evidence.
Ambriehl Crutchfield
The bust of Jane Doe was created based on crime scene evidence.

After a year with no concrete leads, the Hamilton County Coroner's Office is asking for the public's help to identify a Jane Doe.

A 3D bust of the victim was unveiled Monday, which the office hopes will get it closer to closing the case. Jane Doe's body was found last May half buried near a playground by an apartment complex in Avondale.

Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco says fingerprints and DNA were collected and didn't match anyone in the system. "I know in every single forensic show out there all they do is get DNA and fingerprints and boom - they know who it is. It just doesn't work that way," she says.

According to investigators, Jane Doe's body may have been at the location for weeks before being discovered. Her body was found clothed in a gray tank top and pajama pants, silver hoop earrings and clips in her hair.

An anthropologist and a forensic artist used evidence to show what Jane Doe may have looked like.

The clay 3D bust shows a woman with a narrow nose and medium-length hair pulled into a side ponytail draped with small hoop earrings.

Samantha Molenar works for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and created the 3D bust. "She was wearing size small clothes, so she was probably relatively thin. I just want to make sure her face shows that she was thin." She says the woman was between 35-60 years old, Caucasian or biracial, and has no tattoos or large scarring.

"Somebody recognizes this lady; she has a name," Attorney General Dave Yost says. "We're asking people of the area to come forward and help us recognize her. That's the least we can do and it's the next step in obtaining justice for her."

A 3D bust helped close a 2009 cold case.

State and local officials are asking for any information that could identify Jane Doe. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation can be reached at 740-845-2406. 

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Ambriehl Crutchfield
Ambriehl is a general assignment reporter with interest in education and communities. She works to amplify underrepresented voices and advance daily news stories. She comes to WVXU with previous reporting experience at NPR member stations WBEZ in Chicago and WKYU in Bowling Green, Ky.