Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Unsolved Murder Spotlight: The Racine County Jane Doe

Jane Doe reconstructed.

Originally published on 02/05/2013. 


Not much is known about the young woman whose body was discovered on the edge of a cornfield in rural Racine, Wisconsin. She had been murdered just hours before a man walking his dog discovered her just after 6 a.m. on July 21,1999. Cause of death was determined to be multiple injuries: she had been battered, cut, burned, sexually abused and malnourished. Jane Doe was tortured for up to four weeks before being killed, according to authorities.

She’s estimated to have been born between 1974 and 1981. She was 5’8″ and around 120 lbs, white, and had brown wavy or curly hair with highlights. Her eyes were either brown or hazel. Both ears had two piercings; her right ear had a “cauliflower” deformity, possibly a result of the torture she endured. Her teeth showed signs of neglect. Several teeth were missing or decayed and the front two were protruding. She may have been cognitively disabled. She wore black sweatpants and a men’s country western shirt with snap buttons and red embroidered flowers. The shirt, according to its manufacturer, Karman, was sold throughout the U.S. in 1984. (Info via

Investigators hope DNA evidence will help solve this cold case. Although they’ve had a few leads, none so far have identified Jane Doe. The dead young woman who appeared in a cornfield overnight made an impact on the normally peaceful Wisconsin county. When she was buried, over 50 people attended her funeral.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact Racine County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Tom Knaus at 262-636-3210. 

Thanks to reader Sasi for suggesting this case. If you know of an unsolved murder you’d like to see featured on Crime Library, email us at


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