The story of Baby Jane Doe goes back to January of 2012 when the skeletal remains of a little girl between the ages of 3 and 7 years old were found in the woods near a trailer park in Opelika, Alabama.
Her height, weight and eye color were not able to be determined, but her hair was mid-length in short, tight curls. A pink long-sleeved shirt with heart-shaped buttons and ruffles around the neckline were found near her remains, but it was unclear if it belonged to the child.
Not much is known about the girl other than her estimated age and race, but detectives at the Opelika Police Department have worked each day since her discovery to shed light on the situation.
Capt. Jonathon Clifton and Lt. Bob Hester are two of the primary detectives that worked alongside Capt. Shane Healey on the case.
“This case has been and will be a priority for us until it is solved,” Hester said. “We will stay motivated to give justice to Baby Jane Doe.”
There is a $20,000 reward in place for anyone with any information about the identification of the little girl.
“We have been working this case for years and we will continue to work this case diligently for as long as it takes,” Clifton said. “We are determined to get answers. We are determined to find out Jane Doe’s real name, and we are determined to do whatever it takes to solve this case.”
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On Oct. 17, the Opelika Police Department received a plaque from Alexis Meniefield, an Opelika citizen. This plaque commemorated each member of the team that has worked on this case.
“It was very humbling to receive the plaque,” Clifton said. “We are all personally touched by this heartbreaking case and to have the community’s support is great. Receiving the plaque meant so much to us.”
To see that the public still cares about Baby Jane Doe as much as the police department does, after seven years, meant a lot to him, Hester said.
The immense support from the community inspired both Hester and Clifton, they said, to build morale and continue working so diligently towards justice.
“We have a great community in the Auburn-Opelika area,” Clifton said. “They have always been supportive, and it’s truly a blessing. The community drives us to work harder and to get answers they so desperately need. We are so thankful for the good citizens of Opelika.”
Each of the officers agreed that the award was greatly appreciated.
“Law enforcement is often a thankless job and most of us accept that fact when we enter the profession,” Hester said. “However, community appreciation has a positive effect on us and encourages us to continue to work hard for the community we serve.”
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