Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases. This Reveal story is one of thousands from the crisis of America’s unidentified dead.
Head over to revealnews.org for more of our reporting.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey it is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restore. We
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Current stipes was around a year old. When her mother went missing. You know I had to suffer
they're my whole life because of whatever happened you know with my mother. I wished it. Someone would tell me you know, let me know what happened. This rug soon die
here on efficient trip. My son Kyle rugs twenty years old,
Spirit on a Wednesday March, the fourth twenty, fifty
unless all men doors his father, went missing in Houston. Regular phone calls to his daughter just stopped cold made at most
reported missing in June two thousand and two people which right now around eighty
thousand men. Women and children are missing in the United States. These are just a few of the family. Members of missing people we spoke to across the country
there's, no way to describe what it feels like to not know where someone is oh. What happened to them, though, always play
but it is not knowing. Unfortunately, some of those missing people will never come by. Gauss is dead, his body was unidentified for ten years and was buried as John DOE. Just a few more,
from his hold. His daughter had no idea what happened to him for all those years.
We don't a reporting about Jane and John Dough's. The families they leave behind
found. There are no national laws requiring coroners or police to enter unidentified cases into a national database that can help send them home and the problem is growing. We started looking at this in two thousand fourteen. There were fewer than ten thousand unidentified bodies in a national database. Today.
There are more than eleven thousand some are being stored in morgues, others had been buried in public cemeteries without a name every one of us
people had a life story to town today we're going deep into one of those
This is from a shall. We originally aired in twenty seventeen about a murder victim whose, by
but he was found on a mountain trail in Kentucky in nineteen sixty nine before we get
The quick heads up
A lot of our show is about death and dead people, so you can get a little gruesome and it's not for all listers Michael Schiller picks up the story and Harlin Kentucky were driving through southeastern Kentucky its deepen coal country near the Virginia border, we're headed to Harlem
in a valley surrounded by the dense forests of the appalache and hills. Pine mountain to the northeast is where you'll find little shepherds trail.
A single lane mountain top road that stretches for forty miles, snaking alone
little shepherd trail might sound familiar there's a novel named after a civil war up
This is where they found mountain Jane DOE. On little
the body of a young woman was discovered.
By a man who was picking flowers for his wife, but Starlit Jackson
I was born, May twenty fifth night
sixty nine, it's possible
she was murdered. On the day I was born dollars, a former miss
Ireland County with a winning smile and bright green eyes? She's.
So an author and an amateur historian has been researching this story. For years. You doubt happened upon little Shepherd trail
you, go to little Shepherd trail, the boy
was found on a steep slope in the forest brush. She
found about fifty feet off the road she
had been there a week at least maybe more
the only thing found with her, was a restaurant receipt.
From the scenario, how area and
a blouse or cloth bound with her
She had been stabbed in the chest, multiple times no clothing on her,
and it didn't take long to realize that
there was no clue
as to who this woman was her face was completely gone now
it was the skull
bill, Bowman was just out of high school. When the body was found, he was working at the
Clayton regional Hospital in the medical supplies departed
there was a very strange odor, an hospital won. The super
others came and ask if, if I were squeamish fab would mind.
Participating in their autopsy
mostly this pseudo mask up and stand air with broken, alas, all nature and is very while they were doing autopsy bill, wasn't trained in this.
I work at all. He was simply drafted at the last minute to help the medical examiner, because there was no one else around to do it they,
very much longer down put her in a bag and downstream at it
a few days later, they buried her in the same body bag. She,
taken up to this
cemetery by the rescue squad. She was born
read in this casket and
a small great market was placed for her
That is about all we hear of her at that time
That was pretty much a shocker for the community. You now too,
found this girl,
they murdered upon this trail
morning. We know, what's goin, on what happened to her, why she here, for you, come from.
We couldn't find anyone still alive, who was there on that day of June in nineteen sixty nine when they found the body
did find an eyewitness accounts from a two thousand nine news broadcast on the local tv station w. I m t it's from Joe Man just a couple years before he passed away
joined a funeral home in town and he was the guy you actually went and retrieve. The body
stay with me
pray long overdue. Please help me
she can be ideal. Fagged enrages, Kilvey
further, so Joe held a funeral service for Mountain Jane DOE is barely even paid for the casket himself.
Protein little girls can a cash get taken
No one was she may have gone through with. Maybe I'm the man said that
People came from all around the lined up outside his small red brick Chapel for the funeral and after they buried her. That was kind of it
We said a few leads over the years that never really went anywhere.
But the people of Ireland and the Kentucky State police never forgot about Mountain Jane DOE. This is a case that I have heard about. Since I was a little Jackie pick. Rules from Harlin she's with the Kentucky State Police answer would ever came here. Is the take your sergeant. I went and found the case just to read through it versus now a lot of work with, in this case, mound Jane. Those case was passed down from one detective too.
Next for decades, retired state police detective can cried. He tried to solve it in the early nineties. The one thing that probably
more than anything in my career, was not been able to solve, sometimes because it that really matter to Paypal.
over the years. There were lots of theories about who mountain Jane, DOE might be and who might have killed her, but they never pan out
The case pretty much goes cold until the fall of two thousand. When something happens that sets it back in motion. I have thought about her. In years that's Darla Jackson, again, I've got married at had a child. I was raising a family,
so this young girl that was found murdered in sixty nine was
not even a memory really at the time. Dora grew up hearings,
lorries of mountain Jane DOE as a kid, but those memories of faded
she's, a mother now and she's busy helping run the family business, her husband's funeral home, so
Did she come back into your life? She came back
into my life in November of two thousand, my aunt Loretta called me. She first asked me
Do you remember the girl found in nineteen sixty nine on the shepherd trellis idea? Of course, I remember, and she said well, your uncle James is saying that he may know who killed her. He won't you
and I to help her uncle James sailor had recently moved into a trailer next to the Harlem Gas Cemetery, where
maybe Jane DOE is buried.
He says that maybe a few days later that he wakes up and he sees a girl.
He does the same thing two dollars on Loretta Martin, and he said she
very neatly, blonde hair kind of like a little page boy, shadow very plain Chris spot blouse so is very detailed description
and he said ah started to sit up. I put my legs on the side of the bed and when I did, she disappeared,
no reveal doesn't do go stories and there isn't
consult with anywhere that psychics actually solve crimes to
its well known that detectives consult with them from time to time. Needless to say, I was sceptical of the story
You sure you're, not what are you smoking set? What what's you know where you asleep, when you saw this vision of this girl, he started telling all about it and he said
at this girl. He started telling me all about it and he said no did you ever spent your brother had any involved
and an impressive. I said you will be the first says, backed uncle James, described, intimate details of the crime scene, some of what he said had been in them.
Uncle James described, intimate details of the crime scene, some of what
said had been in the local media and other things hadn't. We have
a way of knowing how much of the story he got right, but he told it all to Darla. Somebody tell that he told me where that she was stabbed, that she was dragged and dumped that a car brought her there.
Trail, what did you do with this information? For the first thing I did was a road it, a road it all down. He went out there and reported this to the state police.
I wrote it all down and he went out there and reported this to the state police
darlin, her aunt both say they reported what Uncle James told them to the police. I checked with the Kentucky State, police and Uncle James was never a suspect in their investigation.
They don't have any record of James Sailor in their case file at all. No one
down at a local man or his family had called in with some details about the crime.
I have lost many night sleep over this.
Ace and this girl in the past fifteen years
the recognizes she became somewhat obsessed with the case. She
Add a new grave marker me
keeps the original one at her house and the system
pain at this marker in here in two thousand and eight should gives the grave Margaret
marker in here in two thousand and eight she keeps them
marker in her nightstand next to her bed,
the small aluminum rectangle mounted to a metal stake. The red paint is flaking off and engraved in white letters that says unidentified girl, burial June fifth, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine
She could not speak for herself and no one was speaking for her. I wanted people to remember her and she deserved a voice, so I spoke for her
Darwin wrote a book about now, Jane DOE, based on our uncles visions.
In two thousand nine, she got the attention of local tv news any
who was alive and Harlan County in nineteen, sixty nine, probably remembers the story of a young woman found stab to death on pine mountain. Nearly forty years later it still known this newscast changes. Everything
this is where the ghost story crosses over into the real world. It stirs things up
the community and brings me
Jane DOE back into the minds of people who remember her. One of them is Karen Stipes, the Kentucky woman we heard from earlier and, as you know, I must stop programme in a car.
At a to phone screen. So I called- and I told him that that was my mother and hasten now. No, it wouldn't have been that she was younger and didn't have any children
It can be herself Karen's mother went missing in nineteen. Sixty nine
the same year, Mountain Jane DOE was found. Her mom disappeared from let your county right next to Harlem. Nearly
forty years later it still not known who she was where she came from and who killed her. Another person who happened,
catch the newscast, that night was a guy named Todd Matthews about this. On my best friends or day and and
people say I'm sorry, but there were they had one. Madame Todd has dark sense of humour. Italy makes it through a tough job,
for the most part. My day, job is finding them
sing among the day and the unattainable Decease Todd's got here. That's long in the back
can feathered on the sides in a thick grew mustache. He runs the nest
no missing an unidentified person system or name, is the program that works too.
Fi John and Jane doze over the years name, is to solve more than five hundred of these cases
I found out about Harlin County Jane DOE case because of darlin book. He said that in my book that
I wrote that no one was interested in
young girl and her murder and him
for me that he was very interested or during one after dauntless books.
Published TAT invites round your radio show. He hosts about America's Miss welcomed our heritage
I remember the diverse laid eyes on Darla JANET's when she was just a true southern bail, a lovely woman, very compassionate girl pillar, never brought him quite forgotten on accounting and saw a lot of the same feelings.
I've had my sail? For you know the cases than a burden. Todd takes a special interest in Mountain Jane those case, partly because it's his home turf he's from Appalache in Tennessee a few hours drive from Harlan
with the Harlem Cannon Jane DOE case, the only thing
I have to do in this case is to get that body out the ground for dna collation. Todd goes to the only
person who can have a body exhumed, the Harlem County corner. It takes months to get a quarter from a judge and then finally, one morning in November of twenty fourteen
They're ready to dig up mountain Jane DOE forty five years after she went into the ground,
The makeshift cemetery is just a small clustered grieve scattered on a forested hillside for police officers wearing gloves and heavy work boots are pulling up dirt and rocks a group of investigators watches as debris a shovel onto a plastic tarp mountains in those cases, still an act of homicide investigation.
These days, the detective assigned to the cases protective, William Joshua, our turkish state police. The directive currently assigned post in which located here in horror and can Turkey detective Howard,
least jumpsuit streaked with mud. I was assigned the mountain Jane DOE case,
probably made two thousand fourteen, I'm not street.
Homicide detective? We we
our major crowds. Violet comes. There are enormous, odd stacked against detective Howard solving this murder. This case has been called for decades. He can have assessed back until we figure a victim is, and there's that part
not knowing who she is as soon as we know who she was, then we can figure out where she's from
people that she was associated with and hopefully find a motive, pretty quick, that's detective, sergeant, Jackie Pickerell, again she's. Here too, she swinging the pickaxe chopped. Retreat that's grown over the casket
I would like to see new contact skull, never beat us tat. We can
top dollar here to watching from the sidelines
few hours of digging their shovels hit something heirs of hatred against its fragments of a casket that rotted away years ago, pieces of bone pulled out one at a time of. Actually they find a skull tightly packed and dirt and clay they carefully remove it takes some photos and place it in a card.
What evidence box skulls been collapsed. A little they ran set up are equally good job.
The remains will be shipped to the University of nor Texas in Fort Worth. That's where nameless is based, together with the centre for human identification,
and this is where were they do some of the bone cut the DNA Lamb,
A few months later, we meet up with taught in Fort worth
Is this? How remains like mountain Jane Doze are handled
Most hammer closed. Most of the time its Boca Tuesday.
Behind sealed glass. We can see technicians extracting dna,
a woman in a lab coat gloves, mask cuts into a section of bone with the small electrical saw.
One is then pulverized and mixed with chemical and a test tube and it's quite a complicated process. It's nothin, like you, say, Anthea sites, nothing, that's fast and
Antonio, so you know the genetic code is not a bar code. It takes time you know to go through this process once the genetic code is extracted its put into a federal database that has thousands of missing persons cases, Todd Matthews, keeping his fingers crossed at one of those missing people will match with Mountain Jane DOE we'll be there a cold here.
A direct comparison or nothing. You know. Maybe we don't have a missing person that matches his person than the system yet, but even if there is
waiting in the system it can take months or even a year to get dna results, there's a backlog, because there are too many boxes bones and not enough scientists
The living victims of missing and honoured in about persons case are the families, because there are going through this tragedy every day. You know a traditional funeral three days, your buried,
You found ways to adapt your new laugh missing
since gazed, it's like a funeral that goes on for years, sometimes decades,
back in Harlem. It's been seven months since investigators dug up the skull and bones from the hillside, grave. Finally darling, it's the call from Todd she's been waiting for a long time.
How are you hey? I'm gonna Harry you. We don't have news ok
and I that you'd better by the great need home. Yes even shared a glass of wine imported into the YAP enough, and I want because it contains
thanks better. There remains that were designed that day and while uncanny for nothing.
Many of our whole encouraging. Now
ah now found the shock and terribly disappointed that
I do I just I don't know what you say. How did it happen and where is she was always investigators thought they were exam
Mountain Jane DOE, but they dug up the wrong body, could be heard. The unidentified grow marker was on the wrong grave. I asked Darla how she's taking
the news it's never been easy, but it's never
I gotta him that the case.
Right now. What I'm thinking is to get the right grave.
Had to dig up the wrong grave
I know she's there she's
That cemetery and she's in that area
is tat, find her it's just.
This is just another step. Now we got it
gotta. Do it again, it's time to exude again she's there
She may be there, but will officials find it? How did they?
you got the wrong body in the first place will go back to the group,
site when we return. This is revealed
from the centre for investigative reporting, MP, are ex.
From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet
Today, what unravelling the mystery of mountain, Jane, DOE? The story
of a young woman who was found stabbed death on a trail in nineteen, sixty, nine and buried. Without me, this episode is not for your mistress,
in the form of two thousand forty authorities dug up a hillside. Grave too.
Ryan identifier, but they got the wrong body
in exude. A man skeleton by accident reveals Michael Schiller, picks up the story in Harlem Kentucky in one thousand feet
turn right onto later, the only way to fully understand how they got the wrong bodies to visit the European Gas Cemetery, where
Jane DOE is buried. It's a pretty steep
I'm up a windy one lane dirt road
we're stuck at first, our rental suv can't make it up the road we move, some rocks and some sticks and finally get up to the cemetery. It's just a clearing in the forest on the side of the road. There's, no sign, no gate. Some stone steps go up the hillside, their small headstones
a few concrete statues of angels up the steep hill even further is the area where the unidentified or buried
hard to tell if you're walking over someone's grave or not around here to my best to be respectful and
avoid all the Braves
Some graves are marked only with the small rock, and there are others that look like they could be. Graves were the ground a sunken, but they have no markings at all. It's not like the cemeteries with mode lawns and fancy headstones.
At some point, Mountain Jane, doze, temporary grave marker got moved
Just a small aluminum stake: that's easily knocked over pulled out of the ground. Someone must have put it
How can the wrong graefe zu always
possibility in. In the back of my mind, that may not be the rat grave simply because
the manner in which the grave remark with just a temporary great market sticks into the ground. That's hardly
any corner Philip beyond he wasn't.
Georgia, the exclamation in twenty fourteen when they thought they were digging up. Mountain Jane, DOE
started. Seeing things that day that our question,
some in bombing artifacts that were present? I expected there would be a body
leagues, remnants of a body bag. We saw no evidence of that as well. Then there was a clip on TAT
The remains we had recovered were most likely, those of another,
in fact, male individual.
The coroner wasn't ready to walk away a year after that, first dig in the fall of twenty fifteen. They went back again for a second try in August.
Within the ban about two graves away from the original exclamation and we ve found evidence of the body bag and thanks that she would have been placed in inside the casket. So it was consistent with the description of the original case on the third grave. They open the casket match the picture and the body bag was there. So as a skull, some ribs steamers.
It was almost a complete skeleton for a second time, the coroner shipped a box of bones to the lab and Texas to get DNA, its away
In going, I mean it sir
I don't know anything else that we can do at this particular point in time. That's gonna speeded along.
The king and identification of a Jane DOE isn't quicker, easy here's how it works,
national missing, an unidentified person system or name, is as a database. It's too big lists. Really
heres a list of unidentified bodies Jane and John Doze, the others. A list of people who have been reported missing name is tries to match the two. If I,
raffle, one ticket alone doesn't do it. You need the other ticket
the matching number, the DNA.
Your prince in dental profile of the Jane DOE ticket after match the profile of the family ticket,
we want to reunite families, we want to send them back home. We want to give them their name that they were born with. Maybe Dobbs is an investigator for numerous, so this system had flag several possible matches. Base off of
wait date in mountain during those case, the database flags for missing women who could be a match whim.
Who were about the same age who disappeared around the same time. Amy's job is to collect dna samples from their families,
want to gather is many relatives, as we possibly can to strengthen that dna profile to build a profile. Amy,
out into the field to collect dna. Basically, she drives people's homes and ask them to put a cute up in their mouth is called a vehicle swamp, and we coordinate skins hails from the inside of the mouth shut.
Executed back to the lab, where scientists use those skin cells to create the dna profiles, but with,
Mountain Jane Dose DNA in the system, there's nothing to match it too for now
skeleton sitting on a shelf at the lab in Texas. There's a backlog of cases. That's month, long, like the coroner said to waiting game
and then, finally, almost a year after the second estimation in September of twenty sixteen
today we finally learn the answer to a question. Investigators and Harlin County have been asking for almost half a century. Who is the mountain
Jane, DOE Dna testing confirms the body is that of Sonya K. Blair Adams, Song TAT Blair Adams, disappeared from her home Lecher County Kentucky when she was just twenty one years old. Her name was Sonya came later
Adam. He saw you ok, Blair, Adams. My mother was
Mountain Jane DOE,
her name sang a K. Blair Adams disappeared from her living room sitting on the couch she's, a strawberry twenty. Just like
painful to me. She was a good person. She was kind hearted,
and you know people liked her. We
from Karen earlier in the show she's, the one who saw the tv news
since two thousand nine and called the number on the bottom of the screen. But when Karen called in the person who answer told her
Mountain Jane, DOE couldn't bear mother.
Since she was younger and didn't have any children come may, can they were
but you didn't give up with help from her kids and ten.
See. Eventually she found out about names. They swab Karen and her kids. For DNA,
name? Ass was wonderful one and it cost
anything for me or
children had done it.
Has done all of them. She shares some picture
with us on ur laptop. So I do have a better picture.
Karen as our mothers eyes, it's amazing.
See a photo for after all this time, and it makes it all really sad.
More than ever. Gonna make it good. Did I didn't have a mother, you know I would love to her mother and noted, but there's nothing can bring that Baker change because you know even children. They never had a green mother because it is precisely sand. You know, but
I glad that she said Diana now, a few days later
makes a long drive to meet the coroner at his funeral home in Harlem she's here to take
Do you ever mothers remains and she
children us to be there with her we're in a small room, there's a plain cardboard box.
The table, the kind you used a ship, something in the mail. It's just a few feet long. The coroner opens it with a buck.
Cutter he turns to carry any asks her, for he takes out different size, bundles wrapped in brown, packing paper from the box. He places them on a table and unrolls them,
this would have been from. Maybe this current takes her mothers skull from the brown paper and gently cradles it
tomorrow. I think I'm weird, but I just want to touch her bones, have to me mounds,
Karen wants to have a proper burial for her mother in the coming months. This is where
darling Jackson comes back into the story. I meet up with darlin,
home she owns
she's, a woman who wrote a book about Mountain Jane, DOE back in two thousand and nine the got the attention of investigators, her first burial and service was given to her without her identity, and I thought it would be fitting
for her to have a service in funeral as Sondra
but Darla in the parlour room of her funeral home. The places a classic feel it's a hundred years old with dark, would floors and banisters we're waiting for Karen to come over to me Darla. For the first time I wanted to speak with Karen about offering
her a funeral. Hopefully we will plan out a beautiful service for Anja. That is forty. Seven years late
darlin and I've, been trying to press the two pieces of the puzzle together for so long the whole time,
neither of them knowing the other one was just one county away.
Something someone's trying to come in hello,
You are like the moon, I feel, like I know you. It is so good have highlighted to eighty and Andorra
Though you yes now perceived and you don t what it means finds itself,
before you you don't know how happy I am that you follow, get get to learn some things you, yes, we are now in our procedure thing you don't you know, that's helped me to give it a good guess. That's. Why did it that's? Why did it
say you can you don't you think he Karen wrote a letter to her mother? She wants this part of it and grieved on the tombstone.
As a little girl who remember, praying and premature given canopy.
So I would have never known I couldn't get you he took get tomorrow.
It was a bitter sweet. We union for care now she knows,
You're, my mother never came home.
And that her mom didn't leave her she's taken from, but it opens up more questions as far as closures are being
closer me until I found who killed her cousin
whoever killed very another. I've already got away with it for forty seven years. I don't think that
and we get away with it anymore,
and I will never be happy unless think it through dammit. You listening to reveal.
From the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs, this is reveal
I'm alleged today were telling the story of Mountain Jane DOE, a murder victims who was unidentified forty seven years in the fault,
thousand. Sixteen she finally got her name back thanks to a dna matched to her daughter and grandkids. Her name,
Sancho K, Blair Adams. She was
twenty one years old when was murdered the match
Answer one question for soldiers: daughter cared Stipes, but it all.
That many more reveal
Michael Schiller joints care and on a trip back to them.
Is your mom's body was found on Pine Mountain in Kentucky, whereupon little shepherds trail. It's on top of
mountain. You can see four miles from up here, Miss world.
Through the valley below like a river swallowing the thick forests of Appalachia Sancho K, was found fifty feet off.
One way and dirt and gravel road in nineteen. Sixty nine unjust, always wanting to come and see exactly horror body was found. You now to say say the spot.
I don't know how to tell you how it feels journey.
Never been to the exact place where they found her mothers body. Until today, it's
overcast afternoon in October of twenty sixteen, the leaves of most
We turn shades of Amber Brown and read
Maybe we can more this somehow
The identification of Sancho K, Blair Adams was a surprise to some, but not to care and state
two already knew with every fibre for being
that mountain Jane DOE was her. Mother, like I had turned the corner,
If it had a came back and said that it was our, I would have never believed it alarming mantis anew.
It was her.
Can't tell anyone, know what's hurry now. How did you know
No, you can cut this stuff Brad,
I didn't know we will go on there right now. I'm ok. I turn off the recorder in current, takes a deep breath,
Then she tells me how she knew mountain Jane DOE was her mom one Karen was a child. Her grandmother told her something so off
She didn't want to say it on tape, but she said we could her grandmother told her. You're gonna grow up to be a whore like your mother and she ended up naked and stabbed on.
Shepherds trail, that's for Mountain Jane DOE was found.
My grandmother she would get upset.
Tommy bring anything about my mother, so
I was scared to bring it to Mary.
Ford atoms and her husband Dallas were Cairns grandparents on her father side and they adopted her.
I was a little over a year old and tell my grandparents
raised me after my mother aid went missing.
It was an uneasy childhood. Her uneasy laugh current says that at different times throughout her childhood, her grandma would say those awful words about her.
Mother and the murder. This was forty years before she was identified through DNA.
Raises so many questions
if for grandma knew what happened to Sancho K. Why didn't she contact the police,
parents grandma no more than she was saying about the murder and for grandma new did anyone else. You feel like
can't trust anybody and you dont know
You know who knows
No, you know
It's a horrible feel and
Feel like everybody knows something, and nobody will tell you if someone did know something they weren't talking according to police.
No one filed a missing persons report for such a k in nineteen sixty nine.
She disappeared from letter county right next to Harlan with her living. So
close. Why didn't anyone make the connection and
I didn't anyone in letter county reporter missing here's the thing about
being identified in her anonymity. Mountain Jane DOE was perfect angelic but in reality Sancho case life was more complicated. We
found her divorce papers and the Kentucky State archives then tell part of her story.
It's a public record and a snapshot of a turbulent time towards the end of her life in nineteen. Sixty seven
on UK married a guy named Roy atoms?
about a year later, Roy went into the army
but Roy was in the military. Sancho K left him for his brother James.
Sancho King James had a baby together, that's Karen
about a year later, Sancho K was murdered.
Roy ever a suspect in the crime.
I don't I don't know if we could say Roy assess bag Sancho case Exe,
Then Roy still lives and let your county- he wouldn't speak with us, but he did speak with Detective Howard from the Kentucky State Police- a thank God,
you know in any case any murder case for sure any family members that would have been in contact would be. Look then asked questions to rule. Allows me in this aspect we filed.
Roy Military Release, paperwork his duty to fourteen. We found out that Roy went to Vietnam a month after the debate
at the time of the murder. He was there,
of miles away. Rod
Returned phone messages and his wife hung up on me and we never got to speak with his brother James either.
So you know, unfortunately,
as I've learned changes since passed away with it.
Ass couple days, so James was
The last person we know of who lived with Sancho K and he might
that information about where she went or who saw her last James died right before we got two Harlin in October of twenty sixteen.
He'd been sick for awhile and not long after the identification of Sancho K he left town, you were not a state to stay with. Relatives was Joe
ever considered to be a suspect or personal interest in the case, and I don't think it wicked.
Ever say that Roy urgently, the one was assess bag saw Thank James had information that would be beneficial to the case. Yes, though, I think he's a kid.
I won't be able to say that, because I never had a chance to talk to, current states had been trying to get detective. Howard to interview Jeems Adam since the identified
mission, she says she gave him phone numbers and addresses where they could find James, but police never spoke with him. This is a phone call between Karen and Detective Howard. A few days after James died.
You said that you will have all the evidence in the case. That's what
I admired thanking the maybe once I got it.
Did it. What are you all? My have evidence to go: get whoever currents talking about evidence from the crime scene in nineteen, sixty nine, a restaurant received from Cincinnati and a piece of a man, sweater they're gone so as the opportunity to reach James Atoms, Lop ear trotted Bob
it is primarily because we are glad that you have done their job stand is not the case, and I have done everything I came for you there's been times. Did you win?
answer me a long time ago. You don't remember,
Call me back or anything and I have kept after dinner
four or five years, and I understand that you have understood do and I feel bad about it now wants to help change there. I want you to have more police officers, but you can use this case to change the way things are done so that other people don't have to go through these new just passed, because our colleague and ass for the cheaper blow
I didn't say nothin. I was just trying you and that's: ok, John,
Do you think there is any chance that this will end within
or prosecution. Ah fingers possibility that Canada is I'm not gonna, give up its motto Misdoubt. I know she was so
to be held responsible as much as adding
Oh and I'm not gonna gases. Hi, I'm woman
but a hundred percent effort to China
due to pressure. Do I think that its possible it's very parcel
I don't think it's it's gonna be a hard time.
Asked prior hard task of ever attempted,
undeniably, it's a hard task and making the identification wasn't easy either
It took forty seven years for the state police, but they solve that mystery.
Our investigation, on the other hand, hasn't got anywhere. They ve no suspects and there are other issues. The evidence from the crime scene is missing. There was a restaurant receipt and part of a man sweater found at the crime scene, its mentioned in the local paper from nineteen. Sixty nine but Detective Howard, says they're, not in his case file and he's not sure they ever existed right now. If you go to the Kentucky State Police website, they have a list of coal cases, unsolved murders and Harlin County Sancho. Cobbler Adams isn't on it missing evidence missed opportunities. All of this is frustrating for Karen Stipes, but she isn't giving up on trying to piece together her mother story and her own. She hoped her adoption papers would hold some answers, so she followed for them and sent them to me.
So it's from the circuit court clerk, let your county district courts. This is Karen's grandparents statement to the court they're asking for custody of Karen the birth mother abandoned the child in the custody of the grandparents, Mister and Missus Dallas atoms
the prior to May eighth, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, the mother of the child Sanjay K Adams has contributed nothing to the child, support and maintenance that prior
the date she abandon her child, Karen Kay Adams in the custody of petitioners and such abandonment and desertion parents, grandparents filed for adoption May eighth, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine Sunday, kids body was found June. Second, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine.
I was now a neglected. The corner said she had been up their around three weeks: the grandparents filed for adoption within days of Sancho case murder.
This is the same grandmother told Karen all those years ago that her mother was mountain, Jane DOE,.
Ok, so here's the part where I tell you. We didn't solve the murder that we can't prove from killed Sancho K, Blair, Adams. We try
we followed leads around the country and have a short list of people who could have done? It might have done it, but we
rely on hearsay or an anonymous jailhouse snitch, or a psychic vision to base our reporting on, and so many p.
Connected to this case, who might have known something of passed away like herons grandma, Mary rather Ford atoms. She died
time ago and whatever she knew about Sondra K for all those years will never know it took them
I'll get investigators, a unique government database and the same
DNA to reveal the truth about Sancho Keys, identity and confirm what Karen Stipes knew all along and just
kills me to think about her being done there all this time I need
And that's why you know I'm happy
she's a dignified, and I hope- and I think we would
We able to help. Would you give her the most honourable funeral?
No, I just wanna and
wanna, get her enough stone and everything, and I just hope back and I hope she would be proud.
Take this opportunity to thank it's a humid overcast day in late July or services, the pews or nearly full inside the chapel at amount pleasant, funeral home in downtown Harlin service. For this occasion there here to pay their respects to Sancho K, Blair Adams of your barrier has placed a preacher
answered the podium father in Heaven. We come before you today to lower the station for your goodness,
you're basis to be put on this service today, to God Current greets, the small crowd, my family and I first of all I want to thank you for coming today, generals a sheet of paper and reads from it. I think it's so amazing, so meaning strangers, and people from everyone can be working on the same thing and we finally all got together and I think it's gonna bring
good things for the future, and maybe my mother's murder, or be so in vain. It's a somber moment, but for some redemption and all of this, it's a funeral. That's forty, seven years in the making
Sancho K, Blear Adam story was a success for names.
National missing an unidentified persons. It did what it was made to do by
Finding a missing woman among the unidentified dead and then a few months later everything changed in early twenty seventeen, the Justice Department,
cut. The funding to names is dna program that made the dna identification.
Mountain Jane DOE possible in the lab we visited in Texas, where the idea was made stop, except in cases from name, is for dna analysis. Names
applied for funding to restart their dna lab work several months after this show. First aired they got their dna funding back. The lab in Texas is back at work, making identifications and solving cases
our show was edited by talkative needed some produced by Michael. I schiller the story came out,
Digital investigation by reporter GI dubbing shells and our story Edra Fernando DS, with additional reporting and production support from Scott
Anger Rachel De Leon, Emmanuel Martinez and Michael Montgomery
Sound design was done by Jim breaks in clear Mullen with help from Catherine Raimondo. Amy powers are
chief, Kevin Sullivan as our executive producer and our theme music by Colorado, lighten support for reveals.
Guided by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the Fort Foundation that John Dene Catherine T Macarthur Foundation.
The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation and the ethics and excellence in girls foundation reveals
The production of the centre for investigate reporting, it p r ex a mallet.
And remember? There is always more to the story
These are our last few shows of the year and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-20.