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1989 Jane Doe ID'd As Missing California Woman Whose Infant Daughters Remain Missing
Marina Ramos and her two children were last seen with a man only known as "Fernando" In Bakersfield, California. Months later, the mother's body was found in Arizona.
The victim of a fatal stabbing has been identified after more than 33 years, though her two children have yet to be found.
The case began when the then-unidentified body of a naked female was discovered on the Old Temple Bar Road in Mohave County, Arizona — about 50 miles south of Las Vegas — on Dec. 12, 1989, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators determined the woman was killed on site, having been stabbed “multiple times.”
At the time, the Jane Doe had been discovered less than 24 hours after her death by a group of tourists, according to a 1989 article by the Arizona Republic. The area was considered a “dumping ground” for other homicide victims as well.
Thanks to a fresh look into the case conducted by the sheriff's office’s Special Investigations Unit in February 2022, officials recently identified the woman as Marina Ramos, 28, who disappeared from Bakersfield, California — about 350 miles west of where she was found — in August 1989.
According to officials, Ramos disappeared along with her two infant daughters, Elizabeth Lisa Ramos, who would have been 14 months, and Jasmin Maria Ramos, who would have been 2 months at the time of their disappearance.
Both daughters remain missing, sheriff’s investigator Lori Miller told the Republic on Tuesday.
“The family would like to know what happened to those two little girls,” said Miller. “The hope is that they were just raised by somebody else, that they are still alive and thriving somewhere.”
In February 2022, authorities collected the victim’s fingerprints from her cold case file and submitted them to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), according to the sheriff’s office. FBI officials notified county investigators the next day that the prints yielded a match to a woman named “Maria Ortiz” of Bakersfield.
Investigator Miller said the fingerprints were linked to a decades-old shoplifting arrest, according to the Republic.
Mohave County detectives phoned a possible associate of Ortiz, who claimed not to know anyone by that name.
However, "the associate did indicate that they had a cousin, identified as Marina Ramos, who had been missing since 1989,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Following this line of inquiry, investigators compared DNA collected from the original 1989 crime scene and compared it to another relative in December, ultimately leading them to identify the victim as Marina Ramos.
Ramos and her children were last seen in Bakersfield with a Hispanic male known only as “Fernando,” according to Mohave County authorities. All four persons reportedly got into the male’s black SUV to go to the unidentified man’s Ontario, California home — about 150 miles south of Bakersfield.
A sketch of “Fernando” was created with the help of one of Ramos’s relatives, who reportedly cared for the victim’s two children while Ramos was in jail, according to the Republic.
Today, the girls would be 33 and 34 years old.
Investigators hope to identify “Fernando” and ask anyone with information to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 1-928-753-0753 ext. 4408.