This young woman---believed to be around 15 years old, was last seen alive in Huntsville, Texas on October 31st, 1980. According to witnesses, she stated that she was from Aransas Pass, Texas and that she was looking for the road in the direction of the State Prison. The next morning, her body was found alongside the highway, nude, badly beaten, and garroted. The local populace donated for a funeral and a burial. She's been since known only as Walker County Jane Doe.
The case was re-opened in 2015 because of public pressure. Since then, a Facebook page with over 45,000 shares has been created; the case has received considerable online attention; and several viable leads have come in.
But in the last four years, what has the Walker County Sheriff's Office to show for all this public help and access to new technologies which have been solving such cases at a record pace? Answer: Nothing.
Let us consider first some of the public's input and what Walker County has done with it.
1. In 2015, a family remembered a girl named Kathy whom they befriended at a motel in Texas. Kathy was a runaway from Corpus Christi (Aransas Pass is a nearby town), 14 years old and stated that a friend worked for the prison. Their mom had a photo of Kathy:
The Walker County authorities have never investigated this lead, saying that they could do nothing without knowing Kathy's last name.
2. Several people claimed that WCJD resembled a girl who was at Rebekah Home for Girls in Corpus Christi. One of our readers found a photo of this girl, clipped from a VHS tape:
This girl has been tentatively identified by Rebekah Home Alumni as Angie R---, whose current whereabouts or status is unknown. Walker County has not followed up on this lead in any way. Another RH alumni claimed that the girl in the motel photo looked like a Kathy H--- who was also at Rebekah Home. This information has never been pursued either.
3. During the last media campaign, a Huntsville woman recalled giving a ride to WCJD from Oakwood, Texas to Huntsville several months before her death. The witness remembered the home where they let the girl out. Her late husband knew the man who owned the place; an employee at the State Prison; and the witness knew his two daughters from school. The Sheriff's Office interviewed the witness, but gave up saying that the homeowner had since died and the daughters had moved away by 1980. However, a volunteer since discovered that the daughters are still living---one in Oakwood and one in Huntsville; and that the latter was then married to a man now serving a life sentence for violent sexual assaults. WCJD's killer left a bite mark on her---a comparison of dental records would rule this man in or out as a suspect: but despite having this new information for months, Walker County hasn't followed up on any of it as far as we know. Neither have they bothered to ask the daughters if they recognize the girl.
4 & 5. Two less substantial, but nonetheless viable tips have come from Aransas Pass. One witness claims that WCJD was the daughter of a seasonal carnival worker whose name was Louis. Another states that she resembles a girl named Nancy V-----, who lived with them for a Summer. Walker County officials have never followed up on either of these allegations.
As for utilizing new technologies and inter-agency cooperation, there's no evidence whatsoever that Walker County has taken any steps in this direction. There's no indication that they've shared information with the FBI, for example. The FBI maintains a public database for unidentified persons called NAMUS; yet Walker County has never even entered WCJD into that system. Nor---at a statewide level---have they entered her information into the Texas Rangers' Cold Case Database. There is an entry for her at the Texas DOJ site, but it hasn't been updated since 2012 and contains no information---not even an agency contact number.
It's become apparent that Walker County either has too much contempt for the public to utilize volunteer help; or that they are unable or unwilling to take this case seriously. They need to be held accountable. Not only do we pay their bloated $70,000+ salaries (the median income in Huntsville is $12,806); we also should at least be kept well enough informed that we can continue doing their jobs for them.
The bottom line here is simply this: if Walker County does not come up with some satisfactory proof that they are making progress on this case very soon, then it will be incumbent upon us to take measures to take the case out of their hands. There are other agencies which care enough to do the job---and they certainly would be willing to do so if the public called upon them.