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News Release

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Media Relations

Reward Offered to Find Dead Woman’s Identity and Killer NR11149pv

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles detectives announced a $50,000 reward today, sponsored by 1st District Councilman Ed Reyes, to encourage information in identifying the remains of a woman, which, detectives believe, will lead to the identity of the person or persons responsible for her death.  The woman’s decomposed body was found in a recycling yard near downtown Los Angeles on September 10, 2010.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office classified the woman’s death as a homicide, but due to an extreme state of decomposition, the examiner was unable to determine the cause of death.

According to a forensic anthropologist, Jane Doe #52 was a Caucasian woman, which could also mean she was of Hispanic or Native American origin, and was between 50 and 70 years old.

A sketch artist reconstructed Jane Doe’s appearance from the remains, creating a composite of a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length hair and some age lines.

One of Jane Doe's identifying features includes a dental crown described by a forensic dentist as “very high quality” and most likely performed by an experienced dentist within two weeks of her death.

In addition, Jane Doe was found wearing a ring of sterling silver with an inexpensive blue Alexandrite center stone, surrounded by Cubic Zirconium stones.  Based on wear patterns, the ring was estimated by a jeweler to be over 40 years old.  While it was inexpensive, it may have had sentimental value for the victim.

“Not knowing the cause of death nor the woman’s identity makes this case extremely challenging,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. “But with the clues we’ve provided, we hope Jane Doe’s dentist might recognize her sketch, the ring, or even the quality of dental work.  We have no doubt that identifying Jane Doe #52 will lead us to someone who knows how she died.”

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Thayer Lake, Central Homicide Unit, at 213-972-1254. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.