Jane Arroyo Grande Doe's identity key in solving her killing - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

SPECIAL REPORT

Jane Arroyo Grande Doe's identity key in solving her killing

Posted: Updated:
Authorities disclosed this photo of Jane Arroyo Grande Doe, which was taken during her autopsy. They hope a glimpse of her face will help people identify the slain victim. (Henderson Police) Authorities disclosed this photo of Jane Arroyo Grande Doe, which was taken during her autopsy. They hope a glimpse of her face will help people identify the slain victim. (Henderson Police)
A composite photo shows an approximation of Jane Arroyo Grande Doe's face at the time of her death. (Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) A composite photo shows an approximation of Jane Arroyo Grande Doe's face at the time of her death. (Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

If you frequent the Palms Mortuary in Henderson, you’ve likely seen 65-year-old John Williams. He’s been coming to the mortuary for 36 years.

“Every holiday [I come], every October 5th,” Williams said on a recent visit. “And, then every once in a while, if I’m out shopping, I’ll just swing in and say ‘hi.’"

Williams isn’t visiting a family member or friend, but a young girl he’s never even met. Williams worked as a Henderson Police Department detective for 36 years. In 1980 he was called to a crime scene near Lake Mead Parkway and Arroyo Grande Boulevard.

“There is just something about seeing her when I went out there. It touched me,” Williams explained.

When Williams arrived on scene, he found the body of a young girl between the age of 13 and 18 years old. The teen victim was nude, had been beaten and stabbed. Her body had been washed and cleaned, and a portion of a shower curtain was near her body. Since no one knew who she was, she became known as "Jane Arroyo Grande Doe."

RELATED: Henderson slaying victim still unidentified after 35 years

When it came time for the county to dispose of Jane’s body, Williams stepped in and paid for a funeral.

“It was taken care of, we wanted a proper burial,” he recalled. “She deserved it!”

Despite Williams’ efforts, no leads or suspects emerged, and, in 2010, Williams retired from the department without closing the case that haunted him most.

“I worked a lot of murders, but this one has stuck right here,” Williams said while pointing to his heart.

Fast-forward three decades and we still do not know who this young victim is. Henderson PD Det. Joseph Ebert took over the case last year.

"There’s a family out there that, for 35-plus years, has no idea what happened to their daughter,” Ebert said.

He believes Jane was not homeless because of sophisticated dental work she had done called a suture.

“Some dentist or orthodontist out there in 1980 put that in her tooth,” Ebert points out. “This is one of those cases you become passionate about. You actually live this case everyday of your life.”

In an effort to learn more about the agencies that become involved when a teen goes missing, FOX5 contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is based in Washington D.C. The center put us in contact with Mike Murphy, who is the former Clark County Coroner.

“This is the case that sparked that passion in me to work for the national center,” Murphy said. "These are the things you never forget. These are the things that never leave you."

When Murphy worked as the Clark County Coroner, he wanted to get Jane Arroyo Grande Doe’s picture out to as many people as possible. So he put her picture online.

“It was very controversial. We were going to put deceased photos of people online,” he said with a smile.  

Despite push-back, Murphy continued putting photos of unidentified victims online.

“Twenty-four hours later, we got our first identification. [In] 48 hours, we got another 72 hours,” he says. “Eighty people have been identified in Las Vegas as a result of us looking for [Jane].”

Those working the case have a simple request.

“What I’d really like to say to your audience is, we only need you to take a look and help us figure out who this is, because it’s time for her to come home,” Murphy says.

Investigators say we can’t find out who committed this murder, until we know who Jane is.

“We are more than happy to give this little girl up, we’re more than happy to say goodbye to her,” Murphy says. “She’s waited a long time, a long time for answers.”

Jane Arroyo Grande description:

  • Auburn or brown shoulder-length hair;
  • 5’2", 103 to 110 pounds;
  • Had wisdom teeth and dental fillings in some of her teeth;
  • Was found with earrings, and silver painted nails;
  • Had a tattoo on the inside of her upper right arm. Detectives believe this was done relatively close to the day she died.

If you see anything you recognize about this young girl, you’re asked to call Henderson police 702-267-1200.

Copyright 2016 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.