Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mystery in High Point State Park

The cars zipped along Route 23 as it wound through the trees of High Point State Park, not seeming to care about the precarious twists and turns. Others meandered along, enjoying the scenery that the park had to offer. Several miles to the north, Interstate 84 hummed with activity as people sped from New York through New Jersey and down to Pennsylvania. Little did these people know that just a short distance from the road, I lay waiting for someone to discover me.

And they did discover me, finally, on June 24, 1980. For the hikers who found me, a gruesome sight greeted their eyes. My body had been divided up into five different bags, and since I had been there at least a year, many different forest animals had scavenged through my remains. The authorities found my head, arms, and legs but no torso. Was that part of me dragged off by some animals, or was it never there from the beginning? Perhaps it held unmistakable clues to who I am.

As in many cases like mine, there is not a whole lot of information to go on – only a plethora of theories. The facts are these: I am a female between the ages of 13 and 20. They believe that I am Caucasian mixed with some other ethnicity, perhaps Hispanic. I was discovered on June 24, 1980, but they estimate my death happened sometime in 1975. My remains had also been in the woods for approximately a year. Where was I for the other 3 or 4 years since my death? I dyed my natural brown hair blonde, my molars have a star-shaped crevice in them, and the jeans I wore had a distinctive 8-count thread pattern that started at the right hip and ran down the left leg.

They take my case out every once in a while to review, but 30 years later they are no closer to identifying who I am. Since it’s possible I am part Hispanic, it’s possible that I am part Puerto Rican. Between 1950 and 1980, an influx of Puerto Ricans moved into the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area. I was found in High Point State Park off of Route 23 near the Wantage border in northern New Jersey. Is it possible that I attended one of the area middle schools or high schools in the early 1970s? The Appalachian Trail also runs through the park – was I a victim of a hiker on this trail? Another possibility is that my death is the work of a serial killer not only because of the dismemberment of my body, but also because of the difference in time between my death and my disposal. Was I even from New Jersey? Or was this drop-off site a convenient location from Interstate 84?

So many questions with no answers, but perhaps you can help. Did you attend school in the area? Pull out an old yearbook and look through the photos. Do I look like anyone? Jeans with details were pretty popular in the 1970s – do you remember a distinctive thread pattern such as what I was wearing?

Sometimes even the littlest detail that may seem insignificant can lead to a breakthrough in a cold case. I am hoping that someone out there will have that little detail, so I – as well as all those who are looking to identify me – can have a closure.

If you have any information about this woman, please contact

Sussex County Medical Examiner’s Office
175 High St., Newton, NJ 07860
(973) 579-7144
Morris County Medical Examiner
P.O. Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900
(973) 829-8270
(973) 829-8274 fax

Please view her profile data page here: Sussex New Jersey Jane Doe June1980

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