Michigan Mystery: Can You Identify The 1996 Highland Park Jane Doe
The Highland Park Jane Doe was found fatally shot in the early morning hours of May 20, 1996. Decades later, there are still no leads in identifying her.
I write of the missing often. And just like the person who started a Reddit thread three years ago, this one has been sticking with me and keeps popping in my head. She was someone's child and someone has to be missing her. She deserves to have her name back.
Just as the sun rose on the morning of May 20, 1996, an unidentified female was found in Highland Park, Michigan. She was fatally shot in the throat in an alley behind 387 Cortland Street.
Those that lived in the area told Highland Park Police they had heard a gunshot just hours before the grim discovery. Investigators sought tips from the public but to date, no witnesses or relatives of Highland Park Jane Doe have ever come forward.
Sadly, she was laid to rest in an unmarked grave nearly a year after being found. Efforts to identify her and find her family have never stopped.
Highland Park Jane Doe is believed to have been between her late teens or early twenties when she was found in 1996, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). She is biracial, both Black and Caucasian. She had brown eyes and dark brown curly hair that fell just above her shoulders.
When she was found her hair was pulled into a ponytail in the back with a white bow. Highland Park Jane Doe stood approximately 5 feet and 3 inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds.
She had freckles on her face and an old small horizontal scar under her right kneecap. Highland Park Jane Doe had long fingernails that were painted with purple polish and her toenails were also cared for and painted with pink polish.
She had three dental fillings in her teeth. At the time she was found in 1996, she was wearing a white t-shirt with yellow smiley faces and red lip prints, a white 'JXP Designs' brand skirt, a white bra, and black size 8 sneakers. She was also wearing a distinctive piece of jewelry, a ladies wristwatch with a teddy bear design and a brown strap on her left wrist, pictured below.
The sketches of Highland Park Jane Doe were done by an NCMEC Forensic Artist and depict what the female may have looked like in life.
Anyone with information on the identity of Highland Park Jane Doe or her murder is asked to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office at 1-313-318-8516.