Florida officials are hopeful that DNA technology will finally allow them to identify the infant girl who was found floating facedown in a Gainesville pond on August 21, 2003.
Per The Gainesville Sun, the Baby Jane Doe was so decomposed that authorities initially had difficulty determining her race. It was through DNA testing that they ascertained that she was likely of Caribbean descent. They also estimated that the 6-pound baby was 2-weeks to 5-months-old when she died.
Fifteen years to the day, and officials still know very little about the baby girl found in a manmade pond on Northwest 102nd Place—and even less about her relatives or who may have left her to die.
Police said toys found in a nearby abandoned building also provided no useful evidence.
“We processed both of those to find DNA, but with negative results,” Alachua County Sheriff’s Office cold case investigator Kevin Allen said, according to WNBW.
The infant girl’s case garnered newfound attention in 2016 when her body was exhumed for facial reconstruction and isotope testing. She was reinterred in 2017, according to WJXT.
It was in May of this year when police sent in part of the infant’s jawbone to Virginia-based laboratory Bode Cellmark Forensics for DNA extraction. Allen told The Sun that the DNA will then be sent to California, to DNA analytics company Indentifinders, who will enter the DNA into thousands of databases for a potential match.
Police are very optimistic that they will locate a familial match because these databases include DNA gathered from ancestry sites such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com. This could lead police to the baby’s parents or their relatives.
“That’s what they were able to do with the Golden State Killer case and that’s what we’re trying to do with our baby Jane Doe case,” Allen noted.
The investigator remained cautious, mentioning it could take a few months to receive results from Identifiers and there’s no guarantee that they’ll locate a match.
In the meantime, Allen made another plea to Doe’s parents to come forward.
“What we would like to do at this point is reach out to those parents,” he told WNBW. “We’re not saying what occurred, but if they see this on TV, and wish to come forward, we would love to talk to them.”
[Featured image: Baby Jane Doe (composite)/Alachua County Sheriff’s Office]