You may remember a story I did on Jane Doe last August. She was the young woman found dead behind a Castro Valley, California restaurant in 2003. She had no identification, no name to bury her under, no family to inform.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department headed by Sgt. Scott Dudek have continued the investigation for 3 long years. Some ask why? After all, Jane Doe was an unknown. The trail to her murderer went cold a long time ago. But, the people of Castro Valley and the police investigating her case could not let it go. Maybe it was the fact that she had no name or that she was so young (teenaged). It seemed so sad that this young woman was brutally murdered and no one was looking for her, no one was mourning her. It was if she never was.
Dudek and his crew kept up the investigation. Over the summer they had a breakthrough. They found out that the young woman was seen with a man in the Hayward area. He had been an employee at the restaurant where her body was found.
With the help of the Mexican government, Sgt. Dudek and others travel to the home town of this new suspect. They took the bust of Jane Doe and passed out fliers all over town. They visited schools and spoke to the students. They went door to door to see if anyone remembered the young woman.
It appears that all their hard work has paid off. A woman has come forward claiming she is Jane Doe’s mother. She has details about Jane Doe that convince the police she is, in fact, her mother.
Jane Doe was just 16 years old. In March of 2003, right after her birthday, she told her mother she was going to America. Her mother couldn’t stop her, so let her go with her blessing. She heard from her once she settled in Hayward. Then there were no more phone calls.
After six months of silence, her mother stopped believing that she was too busy with her new life. She started up an investigation with the police, but evidentally, they had not been in contact with the Alameda County’s Sheriff’s Department–despite the fact that Sgt. Dudek had conducted a missing person’s search through the US, Mexico, and other Central American countries.
When Jane Doe’s mother saw the flier she knew it was her daughter. She didn’t want to believe it, but in her heart she knew it was her. She contacted the police who arranged a meeting with Sgt. Dudek.
They firmly believe they have the right family. They are waiting for the results of the DNA tests to confirm it. If the DNA is a match, Jane Doe’s name will be released to the public.
At this time, the prime suspect is still at large. Jane Doe’s mother is grieving. But, there is one silver lining. Because of Sgt. Dudek’s team and their hard work, 67 other missing persons cases were solved. People have been put in touch with each other and those families know what happened to their loved ones.