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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From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet care and stuff
was around a year old when her mother went missing. You know I had to suffer
term. My whole laugh because of whatever happened. You know with my mother. I wished it. Someone would tell me you know, let me know what happened lizard.
Son disappeared on efficient Europe, my son Kyle rugs twenty years old
spirit on a Wednesday March. 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 wish 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,
kind body is not knowing and for
Finally, some of those missing people will never come home like ours is dead. His body was unidentified for ten years and buried as John DOE just a few miles from his home. His daughter had
no idea what happened to him for all those years. We did a show back in two thousand fifteen about Jane and John Dose and the families they leave behind. We
there are no national laws requiring coroners or police to enter unidentified cases into a national data banks that could help send them home and the press
is growing when we started looking at this, there were less than ten thousand unidentified bodies in a national database. Today, there are more than twelve thousand
some are being stored in morgue, others have been buried in public cemeteries without a name.
Every one of those people had a life story to tell
and on this episode, we're going back to one of those stories we followed closely and reported on in two thousand fifteen: a murder victims whose body was found on a mountain trail in Kentucky in ninety,
before we get started a quick heads up alone.
Russia is about death and dead people, so you can get a little gruesome and not for all listeners. Michael Schiller picks up the story in Harling, Kentucky were driving through southeastern Kentucky its deep coal country near the Virginia border, we're headed to Harlan its
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 lean 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 at this.
Where they found mountain Jane DOE. On little shepherd trail,
the body of a young woman was
by a man who was picking flowers for his wife but Starlit Jackson,
I was born. May twenty fifth nineteen sixty nine,
possible she was murdered. On the day I was born dollars, a firmer, Miss Harland
only with a winning smile and bright green eyes. She's also
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 body was found on a steep slope in the forest brush.
She was found about fifty feet off the road
had been there a week at least maybe more
the only thing found with her laws. I rest.
Receipt from the system
any Ohio area and a black
Our 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
could see was the skull
bill. Bowman was just out of high school when the body was found. He was working at the apple
ten regional hospital in the medical supplies to pardon
There was a very strange odor, an hospital won the super
others came and ask if, if I was going to shoot up, would mind
participating in their autopsy and it was most
but this pseudo mask up and stand there with the break at last all nature and is very while they were doing now topsy bill.
And trained in this type of 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.
Pretty much longer down. Put her in a bag and now that framework here,
a few days later. They buried her in the same body bag. She
taken up to this,
Cemetery by the rescue squad
she was buried in this casket and
a small great mark was placed for her and
that is about all we hear of her at that time.
Pretty much a shocker for the community and how to
found this girl
they murdered upon this trail.
Everyone was sir.
Wonderingly, you know what's goin on what happened to her, why she year or should come from. We can
find anyone still alive. Who was there on that day of June? Nineteen sixty nine when they found the body, but we did find an eyewitness accounts.
My 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. Jones
funeral home in town, and he was a guy. You actually went retrieve the body
stay with me.
Pray long lot, please help
She can be ideal fagged in
Vietnam Fire, though so Joe held a funeral service for Mountain Jane DOE, is barely even paid for the casket himself
protein little girls can a cascade taken
no one plus she may have counter with
Maybe I'm the man said that
who 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.
You said a few leads over the years that never really went nowhere, 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 little Jackie Pick, rules from hurling she's with the Kentucky State Police answer. Whenever I came here is the take the sergeant, I went and found the case just re through it. First, our lot, who work with in this case, mound Jane those case- was passed down from one detective to the next for decades
Retired state police detective KEN Crider, tried to solve it in the early 90s. The one thing that probably bug me more than anything in my career was not been able to stop something like this cuz. They really matters to people.
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 and hears that's Darla Jackson again, I've gotten Mary
that had a child. I was raising a family, so
young girl that was found murdered in sixty nine was
not even a memory really at the time. Darlin grew up hearing stories 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 little shepherd trail? I said yeah. Of course I remember it and she said well. Your uncle James is saying that he may know who killed her. He wants you
and I to help her uncle James sailor had recently moved into a trailer next to the Harlin gas cemetery. Where
aunt, Jane DOE, is buried
He says that
only 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 had short
very neatly: blonde hair can walk a little page boy. Shuttle very clean 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
may prove anywhere that psychics actually solve crimes even
well known that detectives consult with them from time to time. Needless to say, I was sceptical of the story.
Uncle James. A sister Loretta was too and ask him ass, a child.
Are you sure you're? Not? What are you smoking set? What what's you know where you asleep? When you saw this vision,
This girl, he started telling me all about it and he said no did you ever spent your brother had anymore
Yes, I did ask him absolutely acid. Now you could end up in prison. I said you will be. The first suspect
Uncle James described, intimate details of the crime scene, some of what
said had been in the local media and other things happen. We have
way of knowing how much of the story he got right, but he told it all to Darla some details that he told me where that she was stabbed
that she was dragged and dumped that a car brought her there. He felt it
was already dead when she arrived on little shepherd trail. What did you do with this information? For the first thing I did was a road it. I wrote it all down and he went out there and reported this to the state police. Dore Lyn on both say they reported, would Uncle James told them to the police. I checked with the Kentucky State Police and Uncle John
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,
at a down that 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,
a recognizes she became somewhat obsessed with the case. She, even
The new great marker made
keeps the original one at her house and
This is my bedroom and think
this marker in here in two thousand and eight she keeps the
brave marker in her nightstand next to her bed,
two 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
Able to remember her
and she deserved a voice. So I spoke for her.
Darwin wrote a book about Mountain Jane DOE, based on our uncles visions,
In two thousand nine she got the attention of local tv news anyway,
who was alive and Harlan County in nineteen sixty nine people
only remembers. The story of a young woman found stabbed to death on pine mountain nearly forty years later it still. This newscast changes everything
This is where the ghost story crosses over into the real world. It stirs things up
the community and brings mountain 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, on what style programme, and then I called
add a number to phone the screen. So I called- and I told him that that was my mother and he said no. It wouldn't have been that she was younger and didn't have any children.
May herself Karen's mother went missing in nineteen sixty nine.
The same year, Mountain Jane, DOE was found. Her mom disappeared from Lettre 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 to catch the newscasts that
I was a guy named Todd Matthews about this on my best friends or Diane,.
And people say I'm sorry, but there were they had one. Madame toddy
the dark sense of humour. It's only makes it through a tough job for them
part my day. Job is funding the missing among the day and then about Decease Todd's got here.
Its long in the back and feathered on the sides in a thick groom. Mustache here
the national missing an unidentified person system or name- is the program that
is to identify 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 five or one after Darlin books,
published Todd invites round or radio show he hosts about America's missing welcomed our heritage.
I remember the name for laid eyes on Darla JANET's when she was just a true southern veil. A lovely woman, very compassionate girl pillar, never brought him quite forgotten on
accounting in a lot of the same feelings that I've had my sail. For you know the cases that burden topics-
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 Harlem
with the Harlem Cannon Jane DOE case. The only thing,
I have to do in this case, is to get that body on the ground or dna collation. Todd goes to the only
percent who can have or body exude the Harlan 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 cemeteries, 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 investor
Peters, watches as debris? A shovel onto a plastic tarp mountain Jane those cases still an act of homicide investigation. These days, the detective assigned to the king.
This is the type of William Joshua Howard touch. They placed the directive currently assigned post in which is located here in Harlem. Can Turkey detective Howard's police jumps
it is streaked with mud. I was assigned the mountain Jane,
probably made two thousand fourteen, I'm not strictly a homicide.
The text 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 assess 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 asset. We can
top dollar here to watching from the sidelines after
two hours of digging their shovels, hit something airs and pay for the cap as its fragments of a casket that rotted away years ago, pieces of bone pulled out one at a time. Eventually they find a skull tightly packed and dirt and clay they carefully remove it takes some photos and place it in a cardboard evidence box skulls bent collapsed a little they at that.
I ran, set up easily get their means will be shipped to the University of nor Texas in Fort Worth. That's where nemesis, based together with
centre for human identification,
This is where they do some of the bone cut. The DNA Lamb
a few months later we meet up with taught in Fort worth
This is how remains like mountain Jane Doze are handled relates whether most
we're closed. Most of the time its bone cut Tuesday. Behind sealed glass. We can see technicians extracting
A woman in a lab coat gloves mass cuts into a section of bone with the small electrical saw, the boy
then pulverized and mixed with a chemical in a test tube and it's quite a complicated process. It's nothin, like you, say, Anthea sites, nothing, that's fast and
Santana. 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 is keeping his fingers crossed at one of those missing people
oh match with Mountain Jane, DOE obey their recalled a cold hit, a direct compared
an or nothing
maybe we don't have a missing person that matches his person in the system yet, but even if there is
match 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 they're going through this tragedy every day. You know a traditional funeral three days, your book.
And then you found ways to adapt your new laugh missing persons case it's 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,
hello darling. How are you
yeah, I'm gonna Harry you. We don't have news. Ok IRAN, though, that you'd better by the great need time. Yes, even shared a glass of wine important
yeah and up- and I apologise because I can tell you anything though remains there were using that day,
uncanny we're not the remains of our whole, encouraging now,
oh no. I found the shark, I'm terribly disappointed that
I do I just I don't know what to say. How did it happen and where is she always investigators thought they were zooming mountain Jean do, but they dug up the wrong body could be urban. The unidentified grow marker was on the way
grave ass darla, how she's taking the news it
ever been easy, but it's never been boring.
I gotta- I gotta him that the case.
Right now. What I'm thinking is to get the right grave.
We had to dig up the wrong grave
I know she's there
he's in the cemetery and she's in that area?
So now we too,
at find her it's just
This is just another step now
we 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 dig up the wrong body in the first place,
go back to the grave site when we return. This is revealed
from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet, and today we are unravelling the mystery of men.
From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet.
Today we are unravelling the mystery of Mountain Jane DOE. The story
of a young woman was found, stabbed death on a trail in nineteen. Sixty nine in
married without a name now for young listeners. Now, the two years ago, authorities dug up the hillside great to try and identify.
But they got thrown body and exude a man. Skeleton by accident reveals Michael Schiller, picks up the story in Harley Kentucky
One thousand feet turn right onto Rachel group. The only way to fully understand how they got the wrong bodies to visit the oil and 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 respectful and
to tell if you're walking over someone's grave or not around here, to my best to be respectful and
where the ground a sunken, but they have no markings at all. It's not like the cemeteries with mode lawns
Some graves are marked only with the small rock, and there are others that look like they could be graves where 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 it.
It's too small aluminum stake that's easily knocked over pulled out of the ground. Someone must have put it
how the wrong grave zu
possibility in in the back of my mind, that may not be the rat grave simply because
the manner in which the grave remarked with just a temporary great market sticks into the ground. That's hardly
any corner Philip beyond. He wasn't
Georgia, the exhumation 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 exhumation 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 way,
in gang I mean it. Sir
Heather's. I don't know anything else that we can do at this particular point in time. That's gonna, speeded along.
Making an identification of a Jane DOE, isn't quicker, easy here's how it works.
National missing, an unidentified person system. Her name is as a database. It's too big lists, really one of them
of unidentified bodies Jane and,
on those the others. A list of people who have been reported missing name is tries to match the two. It's like a rifle
one ticket alone doesn't do it. You need the other ticket.
The matching number the DNA Finger
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. Baby Dobbs is an investigator for nameless, so this system had flag several possible matches space off
wait date in mountain Jane 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 as 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 dragged people's homes and ask them to put a cute up in their mouth is caught a vehicle swamp and we coordinate skins hails from the inside of the mouth shut.
Takes the cutest 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 months 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, you take Blair Adams disappeared from her home Lecher County Kentucky when she was just twenty one years old, her name was Sonya came Liar Adams, Sonia K, Blair Adams, my mother was
mountain, Jane DOE
her name was saunter K. Blair Adams were encouraged states living room sitting on the couch she's, a strawberry blonde, 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 essential,
it was younger and didn't have any children can be her, they were
the current didn't give up. With help from her kids and ten,
see. Eventually she found out about names. They swab Karen in her kids for dna
AMOS was wonderful. One didn't cost.
Anything for me or
children had done, it
has done all of them. She shares some picture.
With us on her laptop. So I do have a better picture:
Karen as our mothers eyes. It's amazing
to see photo for after all this time, and it makes it all really sad
than ever. Gonna make it good that I didn't have a mother. You know I would love to her mother and noted, but there's nothing can bring that baker.
Thank you because you know even my children whenever had a grandmother, because it is precisely Santiago
I'm glad that she said Diana now
a few days later. Karen makes them
on drive to meet the coroner at his funeral home in Harlem she's here to take custody?
of her. Mothers remains and
allows us to be there with her we're in a small room. There's a plain cardboard box:
my table, the kind you used to 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 ask, sir, you really for he takes out different size, bundles wrapped in brown, packing paper from the box. He places them on the table and unrolls them.
This would have been from. Maybe this current takes her mothers
oh from the brown paper and gently cradles it.
My work, I think I'm weird, but I just want to touch her bones in unfortunate- is what I would you have me mounds.
Here and 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
a 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 offer
her a funeral. Hopefully we will plan out a beautiful service for Anja. That is
Forty seven years late, darlin
Erin have been trying to press the two pieces of this puzzle together for so long the whole time
neither of them knowing the other one, was just one county away
Something someone's turn it come in, allow
good. You are like them. Oh yes feel, like I know you. It is so good have highlighted today to thank 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 girl,
Why did it that's? Why did it so you can you? Thank you. Thank you.
Karen wrote a letter to her mother, she wants this part of it engraved on the tombstone.
As a little girl.
Her, remember, praying and that will given canopy some of them
I would have never known, I couldn't get you to go. Get your mom,
He was a bitter sweet. We union again now
she knows for sure why mother never came home
and that her mom didn't leave her she's taken from, but it opens up more questions.
Where's there, or no closer to 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 so.
And we get away with it anymore.
And I will never be happy unless they get through dammit. You listening to reveal
From the centre for investigative reporting, it p r eggs. This is revealed
I'm alive today. What telling the story of Mountain, Jane, DOE a murder victims who was unidentified forty seven years in the fall,
thousand sixteen. She finally got her name back thanks to a dna matched to her daughter and grandkids, her name,
with Sancho K, Blair Adams. She was
twenty one years old when she was murdered the match.
Answer one question for soldiers: DORA cared Stipes, but it all
that many more reveal,
Michael Schiller Joints care and on a trip back to the place where moms body was found.
Pine Mountain in Kentucky.
Whereupon little shepherds trail. It's on top of a mountain you can see. Four miles from up here
miss swirls through the valley below, like a river swallowing the thick forests of Appalachia Sancho K was found fifty feet off.
One lane 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 journeys. Never
into the exact place where they found her mothers body until today, it's
overcast afternoon in October of twenty sixteen, the leaves of mostly turn shit
Amber Brown and read
Finally, 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 told the corner
came back and said that it was our. I would have never believed in our amount is unknown.
It was her
can't tell anyone, know what's hurry, you know how did you know
No, you can cut this stuff Brad,
I didn't know what was going on dire at 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 caramels,
child. Her grandmother told her something so awful. She
I 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 little shepherds.
Trail. That's remounted, Jane DOE was found.
My grandmother she would get upset
Anytime, you bring anything up about Mama or so.
I was scared to bring it Mary. Rather
atoms and her husband, Dallas were Karen's 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 turn says that a different times throughout her childhood,
I would say those awful words about her mother and the murder
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?
Karen's grandma, no more than she was saying about the murder and if for Grandma New did anyone else you feel like
can't trust anybody, and you dont know
Who knows who don't know you? Nice? Is it's a horrible,
feel to 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
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 an identified in her anonymity. Mountain Jane DOE was perfect angelic but in reality Sancho CASE life
more complicated, we found-
Divorce papers in 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.
UK married a guy named Roy Atoms,
about a year later, Roy went into the army.
By 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.
Was Roy ever a suspect in the crime.
I don't know if I can say Roy this aspect, Sancho case exe.
Then Roy still lives in letter county. He wouldn't speak with us, but he did speak with Detective Howard from the Kentucky State Police. A thank
You know, in any case any murder case for sure any family members that would have been in contact would be looked at and ask questions to real mouse being a suspect we filed for Roy's military release paperwork his dd two hundred and fourteen
We found out that Roy went to Vietnam a month after the divorce.
At the time of the murder, he was now
miles away. Brother
This was the last person we know who lived with Sancho K and he might have had information about where she went or who saw her.
So you know, unfortunately,
as I've learned changes since passed away with in the last couple days, so well
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 real,
it was James ever concern
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 Jane, James Information.
It would be beneficial to the case. Yes, though, I think he's a killer
don't be. I am able to say that, because I never had a chance to talk to current steps have been trying to get to tat
devoured, to interview James Adam since the identification she says she
if I'm 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
You said that you will have all the evidence in the cakes. That's why
I admired thanking the maybe once I got it.
Then it was heard you all my have evidence to go: get currents talking about evidence from the crime scene in nineteen, sixty nine, a restaurant received from Cincinnati in a piece of a man, sweater they're gone, so is the opportunity to reach James Atoms Bill not catered ear trot a pop up
but other stuff do and I feel bad about. It now wants to help change the out you to have more police officers, but you can use this carries to change the way things are done so that other people don't have to go.
Answer me a long time ago you didn't even
call me back or anything, and I have kept after due
four or five years and from what I understand that you have other stuff do and I feel bad about now money 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, stole 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 put to you and that's ok, John
With an arrest or prosecution fingers possibility Hannah that category
Do you think there is any chance that this will end within
or prosecution. Ah, fingers possibility that Canada, I'm not gonna, give up its motto misdoubt and though she was so
play be held responsible as much as I
No I'm not gonna of guy, says hey woman.
Put one hundred percent effort to try
due to pressure. Do I think that its possible- it's is very pop.
I think it's it's gonna be a hard task.
Royal inheritance ever attempted
They have no suspects and there are other issues. The evidence from the crime scene is missing. There was a restaurant receipt in part
it took forty seven years for the state police, but they solve that mystery.
Murder 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 is 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 this 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 Harlan County Sancho, cable or 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 for 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 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 as 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
It is now a neglected. The coroner said she had been up their around three weeks, whereas the grandparents filed for adoption within days of Sancho case murder
this is the same grandmother told Karen.
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 Kepler atoms. 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 can't.
I own hearsay or an anonymous jailhouse, snitch or psychic vision to base our reporting on, and so many p.
Connected to this case, who might have known something have passed away. My parents grandma Mary, rather Ford atoms. She died a long time ago.
And whatever she knew about Sancho K for all those years will never know it took them
I'll get investigators, a unique government database in the science of DNA to reveal the
truth about Sancho Keys, identity and confirm what Karen Stipes knew all along.
Kills me that think about her being done there all this time term, unidentified
and that's why you know
happy that she's a dignified and hope
think we will be able to help. Would you give her the most honourable funeral
Ever you know I just wanna and
Wanna get her enough, thus stolen in everything, and I just hope I can. I hope she would be proud.
Current plans to bury her mother in Harlan this spring,
Ok, Blear Adam story was successful names. The national Miss
unidentified persist. It did what it was made to do
by finding a missing woman among the dead name, is misfortune
John DOE cases all over the country and leaves,
of the lot of it, but the job just got a lot harder. The department of Justice recently
the federal funding that made mountain Jane, Doze dna identification possible. That's why the lab we visited in Texas, where they idead Mountain, Jane, DOE stopped, except in cases from name, is a few weeks ago, unless they bring back the federal funding. People in care situation could be stuck indefinitely
without knowing for certain about the death of relative, and there are more than twelve thousand Jane and John Dose in America today?
That's our show thanks
if you want to resolve an unidentified case, took our lost and found that at last
and found not reveal news dot org, where you can compare miss
person cases with unidentified case you can
we'll find information about what to do. If you have a missing loved one at that website, its lost and found that reveal news that all our show was edited by talking.
It would mean is introduced by Michael. I Schiller story came out of an original,
instigation by reporter J W shelves in story editor
Nando deals with additional reporting and production support. Scott
Rachel, Deleon Emmanuel, Martinez and Michael Montgomery, special thanks to call
They are w why empty lay a tale, the Kentucky Archive Centre and the Harlem County library. We had research
Lord grandstand. Ginger Herbie and Renee Hickman with nonprofit investigator. Reporters and editors are sound design team is the wonder: twits Mummy, J, Breezy, Jim Briggs, unclear seed, no mother, I hit studios Croatia from Burke. Amy piles are
Chief Zinn rivers are executive, editor executive producer is Kevin seller or free music is by comrade light
poor for veal is provided by the Raven David Logan Foundation. The Ford foundation
the John Dene Cathy Macarthur Foundation, the John S.
Games they might foundation and the ethics of excellence in journalism foundation revealing
The co production of the centre for investigative reporting, MP or x amount.
And remember. There is
Who is more to the story.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.