1982 Cold case closer to being solved

A Tuscaloosa County cold case hasn't had any new information for 41 years, until now.

By WVUA23 Student Reporter Chaney Scott

In 1982, an unidentifiable woman’s body was found in the Black Warrior River. Forty one years later, thanks to new technology, investigators are closer to cracking the case.

When the woman was found, she didn’t look like herself. However, now officers have an idea of what she looked like.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office worked closely with the Louisiana State University’s Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services, also called the FACES Lab, to create realistic pictures of the victim. The FACES lab used computer AI techniques coupled with a human artist to draw the victim’s face by utilizing original 35mm photographs and medical records. 

Capt. Jack Kennedy is the commander of Tuscaloosa County’s Violent Crimes Unit. He’s hoping people will share these photos on social media in hopes that family or friends will recognize her.

FACES’ goal is to try and make something look as much like a real photograph as possible,” said Kennedy.

Investigators know very little about the woman. The medical examiner was able to tell that she was pregnant at some point in her life. Jane Doe was a white female with brown eyes who stood at 5’3” tall. She had dark shoulder length hair and wore a size 7 shoe. Her body was found between 24 to 48 hours after her death.

Capt. Kennedy is intent on solving this murder.

“Law enforcement of Tuscaloosa County never gives up. We are not going to give up on this case either,” said Kennedy, “I hope something comes from this. We have some other investigatory leads that we’re going with.”

If you recognize this woman or have any relevant information, please call the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at 205-752-0616 or the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit at 205-464-8690.

“If we can determine who she is, then it becomes a much greater chance of determining who she was with last. There’s no statute of limitations on murder. If we can make a case, we will make it,” Kennedy said.

Categories: Crime, Local News