The woman dubbed “Castro Valley Jane Doe” was found dead 1 May 2003 near a local restaurant. Alameda County Sheriff’s Detectives have done everything they can since then to find out who the woman was and why she was murdered.
When local resources dried up, a search was done nationwide for information. When that didn’t pan out, they went beyond American borders working with Latin American nations to see if someone somewhere was looking for their lost daughter, sister, or friend. To this day, “Jane Doe” has revealed very few clues about her past except that she was in her teens. No name, no residence, no relatives.
In September 2003, Jane Does was laid to rest at Lone Tree Cemetery. Each year, a memorial is held in Jane Doe’s memory. Community members come out to pay their respect to the young woman they did not know, but whose lack of identity saddens them deeply.
Two years is a long time for a case to go unsolved. Sgt. Dudek, the lead investigator, and other unnamed detectives have put in thousands of hours trying to solve the case. They are determined not to give up.
In June 2005, Jane Doe’s body was secretly exhumed. They recovered the skull which was then reconstructed. A bust was created showing how Jane Doe looked by Forensic Artist, Gloria Nusse. It is the Sheriff’s Department’s hopes that with a lifelike bust someone will remember the girl.
Why has this case dogged investigators so? Why has Jane Doe worked her way into the hearts of the community? Why does it seem as if we all have failed because the young woman can’t be identified? There is something very sad about the young girl and her death. She was brutally murdered and thrown away. No one remembers her. No one is even searching for her. It’s as if she didn’t exist. The detectives should be applauded. Without their tireless efforts, Jane Doe would surely have been forgotten by now. We can only hope that they will some day put a name to the unknown teenager’s face.