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Crime News Black Lives Matter

Police Struggle To ID Georgia Teen Jane Doe Weeks After Body Found In Abandoned Home

“We encourage everyone, no matter where you are to really look at the image of this girl,” the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said in a statement.

By Dorian Geiger
Authorities Trying To ID Teen Jane Doe In Georgia

Georgia authorities are scrambling to identify a Black teenager whose body was found in a vacant home in Atlanta’s suburbs nearly three weeks ago.

East Point Police officers responded to reports of an unresponsive person at an address in the 2200 block of Ben Hill Road shortly after midnight on Feb. 12. When they arrived at the abandoned property, about seven miles southwest of Atlanta, they found a deceased girl.

The unknown person died from blunt force trauma, according to an autopsy, and officials believe she was between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. Police haven’t specified a possible manner of death or if foul play was involved.

The teenager was found wearing a cropped, sleeveless orange shirt, a yellow metal necklace holding a white stone pendant with the numbers "2005" on it, and a white block and lime green beaded anklet with the word "Wixked." No other identification was found with her body.

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The unidentified teen was Black, about five feet tall and weighed approximately 100 pounds. She had dark hair that was recently dyed blond, styled in a short afro. Officials said that she had distinct freckles on her cheeks, as well as a possible birthmark or skin discoloration on her right jaw. She also had a belly button piercing. 

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Almost three weeks later, however, authorities still haven’t yet identified the Georgia Jane Doe and no arrests have been made in the case.

Key questions — including how she got there and the circumstances under which she died — have eluded investigators. Law enforcement, who are banking on the public’s assistance for a breakthrough, are now combing through a multitude of tips. 

“As of today we do not have any updates to report and our young lady has not been identified,” Capt. Allyn Glover of the East Point Police Department told Oxygen.com in a statement. “We are sifting through hundreds of tips from across the globe.” 

Local authorities have sought the assistance of federal investigators, who are attempting to use DNA testing to help identify the teenager.

“We have enlisted [the] help of the FBI to attempt genealogy testing in hopes of identifying her,” Glover stated. “I believe the case has been more difficult than most to solve for the simple fact that she hasn’t been identified."

East Point Police are also now exploring the possibility the woman may not be local, and might not even be from the state.

“After Jane Doe was found last month she was covered extensively in the local news, and the fact that we still don’t know who she is really begs the question, ‘Is she from East Point and if not, where is she from?’” Rebecca Steinbach, a spokesperson for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children — which has been closely following the investigation — told Oxygen.com in a statement on Thursday.

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Steinbach is hoping a recently released police sketch, a facial reconstruction of the girl, other clues police have publicized — including the unidentified girl’s necklace and anklet — and her distinct facial features could trigger the memory of someone who may have known her.

“We encourage everyone, no matter where you are to really look at the image of this girl,” Steinbach added. “She was wearing unique jewelry and has freckles on her cheek bones that may spark a memory in someone."

"The East Point Police are taking advantage of every tool they have at their disposal and are working tirelessly to give Jane Doe her name back," she added. "This work also requires the public to help.” 

“We are hoping that we are able to get her identified very soon so that we can work forward in the investigation and bring some closure,” the East Point Police's Glover said.

Anyone with information related to the identity of the unknown teenager is urged to contact East Point police at 404-761-2177 or by emailing police@eastpointcity.org. Additionally, tips can be submitted to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via a 24-hour anonymous tip line at 1-800-843-5678.