EPISODE 161: Grundy County Jane Doe


On October 2, 1976, a farmer and his young granddaughter were riding a tractor through the fields of Seneca, Illinois. The farmer saw what he thought to be a deer laying in a ditch and wanted to show his granddaughter. As he approached, he found a young woman, nude, her head covered in a plastic bag and a sweater. The farmer drove back home and notified authorities. Soon after, the Grundy County Sheriff’s officers arrived and found a young black woman dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities tried to identify the woman but no one came forward. They were unable to match her to any missing persons reports. Six weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, she was buried in an unmarked grave in a local cemetery. 43 years later, she remains unidentified. On this episode of The Vanished, we are taking a look at the other side of missing persons cases; the unidentified.

Jane Doe's case was re-opened last year. Deputy Coroner Brandon Johnson and Chief Coroner John Callahan join us to speak about their mission to give Jane Doe her name back. This episode also includes an interview with Cook County Detective Sergeant Jason Moran who is assisting with Jane Doe's case and also working to identify the remaining unidentified victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Finally, we spoke to Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick from the DNA Doe Project about what they are doing to help solve cold cases just like Jane Doe's.

If you have any information about Jane Doe’s identity or her murder, please contact Grundy County Deputy Coroner Brandon Johnson at 815-941-3359 or email him at bjohnson@grundyco.org.

You can follow Jane Doe’s story on Facebook at facebook.com/grundycountycoldcase.