Author Topic: DELTA DAWN: WF, 1-2, found in river near Escatawpa / Moss Point, MS - 5 Dec 1982 *Alisha Ann Heinrich*  (Read 261 times)

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile








"Delta Dawn" is the nickname of an unidentified decedent found in Moss Point, Mississippi in late 1982. The child was a murder victim, as she had both been smothered and drowned shortly before her body was found in the Escatawpa River.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/45ufms.html

Case File: 45UFMS
The Doe Network






Artistic renderings of the victim

Unidentified Female
Date of Discovery: December 5, 1982
Location of Discovery: Escatawpa, Jackson County, Mississippi
Estimated Date of Death: 36 and 48 hours prior
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Possible drowning

Physical Description
** Listed information is approximate

Estimated Age: 12 months to 2 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 2'6"
Weight: 20-25 lbs.
Hair Color: Strawberry blonde
Eye Color: Brown or blue

Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown

Dentals: Not available. 12 baby teeth had grown in at the time of her death.
Fingerprints: Not available.
DNA: Available.
Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: Cradle Togs' pink and white dress which buttoned in the back and a disposable diaper. Some reports state that she was wearing a red and white checkered dress or shirt.

Jewelry: Unknown

Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Case History

The child's body was located in the Dog River beneath the westbound lane of I-10 in Pascagoula. She was apparently thrown off the Interstate 10 bridge. Her body was found when a truck driver reported a body of an adult wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans floating in the river.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office believes the body is the mother of the child found floating in the river. Detectives said the theory is based on the fact that a woman, who was obviously distressed and carrying a child, was seen walking on Interstate-10 on the previous Friday night. This is further confirmed by a Moss Point woman who was monitoring CB conversations that night. She said "truckers were 'raising-a-boat-load-of-Hell' between midnight Friday and 1 AM. Saturday because a woman and child were walking on the interstate and refused to let anyone help her."

Authorities said a woman wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans and carrying a child was seen near the scales at the Alabama line walking west on the interstate. She was reported walking in the westbound lane. A man who saw the woman said a pickup truck stopped but she refused to get into the truck.

Authorities speculate the woman may have thrown the child into the water and then jumped. The baby still had a breath of life because she had sucked in some of the murky water into her lungs.

The body of the woman was never recovered nor has she been identified.

The unidentified toddler is buried in Jackson County Memorial Park. Deputy Moore and his wife stepped forward and made sure the little girl was given a proper funeral and burial in 1982. 200 people attended the young girl's funeral.

Investigating Agency(s)
If you have any information about this case please contact;

Agency Name: Jackson County Sheriff's Department
Agency Contact Person: Capt. Curtis Spiers
Agency Phone Number: 228-769-3306

Agency Name: Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 228-769-3197

Agency Case Number: 82-21094; NCMEC: 1103997
NCIC Case Number: N/A
NamUs Case Number: UP #12191
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Information Source(s)
NamUs
NCMEC
Gulf Live News Archive
WLOX News Archive (12/8/07)

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41079827

Death: Dec. 5, 1982
Escatawpa
Jackson County
Mississippi, USA

This little girl was found in the Dog River and has never been identified.She needs her name back.It is believed she was with her mother and was possibly thrown off a bridge or fell into it.The mother has never been identified and may have drowned also.Rest little angel

Burial:
Jackson County Memorial Park
Pascagoula
Jackson County
Mississippi, USA


This is a composite of what Baby Jane may have looked like. If you have any information about Baby Jane please contact Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office:
Det. Hope Thornton
3104 Magnolia Street Pascagoula, MS 39567
(228) 769-3063
Agency Case Number:
82-21094
NCMU400053

Here is her story:
I am an unidentified baby girl that was found on December 5, 1982 in the Escatawpa River in Pascagoula, MS.
Nobody knows who my parents were or what my real name was. It is assumed that I was between the age of 18 months to 24 months. I had all my baby teeth at the time I was found.
I was wearing a red checkered dress and I had strawberry blond or blond hair. Nobody has been able to determine my eye color, because when I was found, they were cloudy.
When I was put in the river that cold night, I still had a breath of life in my lungs. It is unknown why or how I ended up in the river.
Reports from the night I went to Heaven report that I was seen with my Mom on I-10 headed west in Pascagoula, MS. My mom was walking on foot and she was holding me real close. I had no shoes, coat or a blanket. Truck drivers were making a fuss because my mom was in distress and refused offers of help.
A pickup truck was reported stopping and trying to make my mom get in. I have no idea who this person was. I wish I did, it might help get my name back and return me to my family.

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
https://bethevoiceofthevictims.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-delta-dawn-case.html

Voice Of The Victims
Historical Missing Persons & Unsolved Murder cases

Friday, September 18, 2015



"Delta Dawn" is the nickname of an unidentified decedent found in Moss Point, Mississippi in late 1982. The child was a murder victim, as she had both been smothered and drowned shortly before her body was found in the Escatawpa River.



Born: 1980 - 1981 (approximate)
Status: Unidentified for 32 years, 9 months and 13 days
Died: December 3 or 4, 1982 Moss Point, Jackson County, Mississippi, United States
Cause of Death: Drowning
Body Discovered: December 5, 1982
Resting Place: Jackson County Memorial Park, Moss Point, Mississippi, United States
Height: 2 ft 5 in (0.74 m) - 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m)
Weight: 20 lb (9.1 kg) - 25 lb (11 kg)


A Little Bit About The 'Delta Dawn' Case
It is believed that the girl was seen with an adult female within two days before the body was located in Moss Point, Jackson County, Mississippi. The woman, who was carrying the child, was walking above a bridge near the area. The adult, possibly the girl's mother, was walking between midnight and one o'clock in the morning two days prior, that was acting distressed but would not accept help from passing vehicles. Within two days after the sightings, a man called police to report the discovery of a body in the river, clothed in a blue plaid shirt, which is now presumed to be the adult.Authorities responded and soon arrived at the scene, located along interstate 10, but instead came across the child's body. The sheriff that found the baby's body had initially mistaken the body to have belonged to his daughter, that apparently bore a strong resemblance to Delta Dawn, who was later found to be alive and well at his residence.The adult's corpse was never found and she has never been located alive.



An autopsy performed on the Jane Doe's body concluded that she had been alive when she entered the water, as evidence in her lungs indicated that she drowned, although someone had attempted to smother her before she entered the river. The official cause of her death was concluded to have been due to inhaling the water upon impacting its surface. Delta Dawn was a healthy toddler between the ages of one and two years old, most likely at the age of eighteen months. Twelve of her teeth had erupted at the time of her death, which influenced the age estimation. The girl had curly strawberry-blond hair and was of Caucasian heritage. Because of the amount of time she was in the water, her eyes had clouded to the point where estimating the exact color was very difficult, but it was believed that they were either blue or brown. Despite that her eyes had been damaged by exposure to the elements, her face was still stated to be in a "recognizable" condition. She was around two feet six inches and weighed around twenty-five pounds. The girl wore a pink and white checkered dress or shirt, decorated with three flowers on its front, along with a diaper.

Extensive searches have been conducted in hopes to find the body of the woman that had initially been found prior to Delta Dawn's, which has been fruitless. Several scenarios have been conceived, some believing that, if the woman seen with the baby was indeed her mother, had caused the victim's death and subsequently committed suicide. Another revolves around a woman that had stopped by the sheriffs office, describing that she had "given away" her child to a group of men. Officers speculated that the individual could have been the child's mother, yet it was eventually learned that the subject requesting assistance had a male child.



The victim was adopted posthumously by a police officer and his wife, who funded the victim's funeral and burial. The victim's nickname was coined by his wife. She is buried in the Jackson County Cemetery. In 2007, a graveside memorial service was conducted in memory of the victim.

Since her discovery, the girl was reconstructed forensically in efforts to identify her through recognition. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has released two illustrations and other artists have also produced their own renderings.

The Doe Network: Case File: 45UFMS
NCMEC - 'Jane Doe 1982' - Delta Dawn
NamUs - NamUs UP # 12191 - Delta Dawn Case

[img]https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zweyb4HDnnc/Vf3GqHp4QWI/AAAAAAAAAlo/1URlxllcCDY/s640/deltadawn3.jpg[/

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
The victim was adopted posthumously by a police officer and his wife, who funded the victim's funeral and burial. The victim's nickname was coined by his wife. She is buried in the Jackson County Cemetery. In 2007, a graveside memorial service was conducted in memory of the victim.

Since her discovery, the girl was reconstructed forensically in efforts to identify her through recognition. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has released two illustrations and other artists have also produced their own renderings.

The Doe Network: Case File: 45UFMS
NCMEC - 'Jane Doe 1982' - Delta Dawn
NamUs - NamUs UP # 12191 - Delta Dawn Case


Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
http://unidentified.wikia.com/wiki/Delta_Dawn

Delta Dawn

Delta Dawn is the nickname given to an infant or toddler found dead in the Dog river in Moss Point, Mississippi in 1982.

It is believed that Delta Dawn was seen alive one night with a woman who was carrying a child while pacing over a bridge. The woman, presumably Delta Dawn's mother or abductor, was causing a disturbance and refused help from those who offered.

The child's body was found in the river the next day. Someone had attempted to suffocate her, but she was still alive when she landed in the water, as some was found in her lungs, indicating she drowned.

It is unknown why the victim had been disposed of in the river, possibly by the woman carrying her or by someone who was seen that stopped and possibly grew angry when the woman refused help.

Delta Dawn's body was found after a man had called police to report a woman's body in the river, but the child's body was found instead. The adult has never been located.

Another victim, the Jackson County John Doe was found after an additional search. He was not likely related to this case, as he had been shot and was deceased for a significant amount of time before.


Delta Dawn

Sex Female
Race White
Location Moss Point, Mississippi
Found December 5, 1982
Unidentified for 34 years
Postmortem interval 24 Hours
Body condition Recognizable face
Age approximation 1-2
Height approximation 2'6
Weight approximation 20 - 25 pounds
Cause of death Drowning (homicide)

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
Mom, Toddler Left Mo. in 1982 But Both Are Likely Dead, and Mom's Former Boyfriend Is Suspect

Authorities say Alisha Ann Heinrich died from drowning, and her mother is believed to be dead as well

By Chris Harris
December 08, 2020 11:51 AM

Authorities in Mississippi have identified the body of a slain toddler girl nearly 38 years after she was found along the banks of the Escatawpa River.

At a press conference Friday, investigators revealed the name of the toddler who was previously known only as "Delta Dawn" or "Baby Jane." The toddler's mom is also believed to be dead.

Bell Icon
Get push notifications with news, features and more.
+ Follow
Following
You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.
The suspect in the case is the former boyfriend of the toddler's mom, who is also deceased.

Alisha Ann Heinrich was identified using DNA evidence, reports the Birmingham News, the Clarion-Ledger, and WPXI.

Alisha's remains were found Dec. 5, 1982, after a truck driver spotted a body floating in the waters nearby and called 911.

Officials believe the floating body belonged to Alisha's mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons Henrich.

Authorities have never recovered the 23-year-old Missouri mother's body, believing it likely swept away with the tides.

Alisha was found in a pink-and-white checkered dress and a diaper. It was determined she likely died from drowning, but asphyxiation was not ruled out.

The last time the mother and daughter were seen alive was in Joplin, Missouri, on Thanksgiving 1982. They both left the family's celebration with Gwendolyn's boyfriend.

At a Friday press conference, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said the couple wanted to start a new life in Florida, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Police have not released the boyfriend's name, but say he is a suspect in Alisha's killing.

The girl was laid to rest at Jackson County Memorial Park.




Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Alisha_Heinrich

Alisha Ann Heinrich, previously known as "Delta Dawn" and "Baby Jane" was a formerly unidentified child murder victim whose body was found in Moss Point, Mississippi in December 1982. The child aged approximately 18 months was partially smothered before she was thrown alive from the eastbound Interstate 10 bridge into the Escatawpa River, where she ultimately drowned. Her body was recovered between 36 and 48 hours after her death.[2]

On December 4, 2020, investigators announced that Heinrich had been identified via genetic genealogy research.[3] Heinrich and her mother, 23-year-old Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, had been missing since approximately November 24, 1982, from Kansas City, Missouri.[4] Clemons is believed to be the distressed woman seen carrying the infant on December 3 of the same year, close to the location where Heinrich's body was discovered.[1][5] Although a witness reported seeing an adult female's body in the same river, no further remains were ever recovered; Clemons is still considered a missing person.[6][5]

Prior to her identification, Heinrich was known as both "Delta Dawn" and "Baby Jane" due to her sex, her age, and the fact her body was discovered at daybreak close to a delta of the Escatawpa River.

Interstate 10 bridge
According to numerous witnesses, in the early hours of December 3, 1982[7] a female toddler was seen in the area of Moss Point, Mississippi, in the company of a young adult female presumed to have been her mother and who had been carrying this toddler in her arms. These sightings had occurred on both Mississippi State Highway 63 and, later, the National Interstate 10, close to the state border of Alabama.[8][9][10][7] The woman carrying this child had been wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans, and was last seen walking west along Interstate 10, close to the truck scales at the Alabama-Mississippi border sometime between midnight and one o'clock in the morning of December 3. Reportedly, this woman had been in an acute state of distress, but had ardently refused any offers of help from passing vehicles. These eyewitness reports subsequently given to investigators would further be corroborated by accounts from a woman who had been monitoring CB radio conversations between truck drivers early in the morning of December 3, and who stated to investigators numerous truck drivers had been raising what she termed a "boatload of hell" regarding an obviously distressed woman walking along Interstate 10 with a barefoot, coatless female toddler in her arms and who had repeatedly refused any offers of assistance from passing vehicles.[6][11] It is believed that the toddler in this woman's company may have been the victim subsequently recovered from the river.[7]

Discovery
Within two days of these sightings, at approximately 7:00 a.m. on December 5, a truck driver called police to report having sighted the body of an adult female floating face-down close to a bridge spanning the Escatawpa River along Interstate 10. The woman had been clothed in a blue plaid shirt. This truck driver immediately reported his discovery to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, and a sheriff's deputy immediately responded to the scene of the truck driver's sighting; finding no body floating in the general area of the river in which the body had been sighted, this deputy decided to continue the search, expanding the geographical search radius of the river as he did so. Shortly thereafter, he discovered the body of a small blond-haired child lying partially submerged and face up in the weeds close to the bridge.[6][12] Authorities quickly determined the child had been thrown from the bridge into the general area where her body was subsequently found, and that this child's body was unlikely to have been that sighted by the truck driver, as the section of the Escatawpa River where her body was discovered had been heavily infested with weeds, thus making a sighting of any body in this section of the water very difficult for passing motorists.[9]

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
Subsequent search
Following the discovery of the child's body, the general vicinity of the Escatawpa River where the truck driver had sighted the body of the adult female was dragged in the hopes of also retrieving her body, although these efforts would prove unsuccessful.[10] These searches were conducted with the aid of helicopters and boats, although the body of the woman initially sighted within the Escatawpa River has never been found.[n 1] However, if the body seen floating in the river on December 5 was not hers, she has never been located alive, or presented herself to authorities.[7][14][n 2]

Although the underwater search unit failed to locate the body of the adult woman,[9] this search unit did locate the largely skeletal remains of an African-American male on December 8. This individual is believed to have been aged 18 to 22, and his body was located beneath the eastbound I-10 bridge approximately 60 yards from the scene of the earlier discovery of the child's body.[15][16] This decedent remains unidentified, and although investigators believe this individual had also been thrown over the I-10 bridge, this decedent had lain undiscovered for a minimum of six months, and had been shot to death, thus making his death extremely unlikely to be connected to the case.[17]

Physical examination
An autopsy performed on the child's body revealed that someone had attempted to smother her before she had entered the river, although the child had still been alive when she had entered the water,[18] having inhaled murky water from the river into her lungs, thus indicating she had ultimately died of drowning.[6] The official cause of death would be certified as drowning due to her having inhaled water upon impacting the surface of the river.[11] Investigators would also conclude she had been intentionally deposited into the river from the eastbound I-10 bridge, very likely having been thrown into the river by the woman seen carrying her two days prior to her discovery (with this woman possibly believing the child had died via the act of smothering).[2]

In life, Delta Dawn had been a healthy toddler, with her age estimated to have been between the ages of one and two years old, most likely being between 18 months and two years of age. Twelve of her milk teeth had erupted at the time of her death, which influenced this age estimation. The girl was Caucasian, with curly strawberry-blond hair,[7] and has been described as being markedly beautiful in appearance.[11] Because the child's body had lain in the river for approximately 36 to 48 hours prior to her discovery, her eyes had clouded to such a degree that determining their precise color was very difficult, although it is believed they had been either blue or brown.[7][6] Despite the elemental damage to the eyes, her face was described as being in a "recognizable" condition.[12] She was around two feet six inches in height, weighed around 25 pounds and although no food was found in her stomach, she showed no signs of having been malnourished.[12] The girl wore a pink and white Cradle Togs checkered dress, decorated with three flowers on its front, along with a diaper.[7][11]

Funeral
The funeral of this unidentified child (who would become known as both "Delta Dawn" and "Baby Jane" to both the public and the media) was primarily funded by a local deputy named Virgil Moore who, along with his wife, Mary Ann, initiated a fundraising and donations appeal via local businesses and funeral homes to ensure the child received a Christian funeral, with Mary Ann Moore as the individual who coined the name "Baby Jane," having been aghast at the thought of the child being simply buried as a Jane Doe.[11][n 3]

Delta Dawn was buried in the Jackson County Cemetery following an hour-long service conducted at the Bethel Assembly Church in Pascagoula. This service was conducted within weeks of the child's discovery, after all efforts to locate any relatives had proven fruitless. The service itself was attended by approximately 200 people, with four police officers serving as pallbearers. The primary means of paying for and conducting the child's funeral were donations by various local businesses and their employees,[13] and Delta Dawn was buried beneath a flat granite marker with a ceramic vase. Her grave bears the inscriptions "Baby Jane" and "Known Only To God".

On the 25th anniversary of the funeral of Delta Dawn, a memorial service in her honor was held at the Bethel Assembly Church.[14] This memorial service was organized by two Alabama women named Marjorie Brinker and Lynn Reuss, who have both stated they could not comprehend "why someone would throw a baby into the river like that."[19]

"She belongs to somebody. And, if she's not remembered, it's not going to be put out anymore. It's just ... time is going to pass on by. And this way here, if we keep her in the light, somebody may just come forward."
Paul Murphy; Deputy sheriff on duty at the time of the recovery of the body of Delta Dawn from the Escatawpa River, 2007.[20]
Investigation
Extensive searches were conducted to find the body of the woman seen floating face-down within the Escatawpa River on December 5; equal efforts have been made to locate and/or identify the acutely distressed woman seen walking along Interstate 10 carrying a barefooted child in her arms on December 3, should the body sighted by the truck driver actually not have been hers.[7][2] All efforts proved fruitless. Several scenarios surrounding the death of Delta Dawn have been theorized, with the most common contemporary assertion being that the woman seen with the toddler was the child's mother, who had either accidentally or intentionally caused the child's death before subsequently committing suicide.[6]

Following the discovery of Delta Dawn, newspapers throughout the country published stories of the discovery of the child's body, and the sightings on Interstate 10 two days previously. These stories often featured contemporary forensic facial reconstructions of how the child had most likely appeared in life. All initial efforts proved unsuccessful with ascertaining the identity of Delta Dawn via this technique.[2] A contemporary report of a woman who informed sheriff's deputies that she had "given away" her child to a group of men was originally connected to the case by the investigating officers, although these investigators rapidly determined that the subject requesting assistance had a male child, thus enabling investigators to quickly determine this report as being impertinent to this case.[11]

In 2009, the body of Delta Dawn was exhumed in order that investigators could obtain a DNA sample from her body which could be entered into both the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children databases for comparison with nationwide unsolved murders and missing person reports. Initially, no DNA match with Delta Dawn or the individual believed to have been her mother (should the two have been related) was obtained.[21]


Two forensic facial reconstructions of Delta Dawn prior to her 2020 identification. The most recent rendering (right) was created in 2014.[3]
With advances in technology, several forensic facial reconstructions of the child were created in the years following the discovery of her body in ongoing efforts to identify her. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also released two illustrations depicting potential likenesses as to how Delta Dawn may have physically appeared in her life; other forensic artists also produced their own renderings in efforts to discover her identity.[7][6]

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile
Identification
On December 4, 2020, Jackson County Sheriff's Office announced the identification of Delta Dawn as 18-month-old Alisha Ann Heinrich of Joplin, Missouri. Her identity was confirmed via DNA sequencing and genetic genealogy,[22][1] with the child's DNA linked to family members in Missouri, where her mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, had previously lived. The process of generating a profile suitable for uploading into a public genealogy database was performed by a lab operated by Othram; the research was conducted by forensic genealogists under Redgrave Research Forensic Services.[14]

Gwendolyn Clemons had recently divorced from the father of her daughter. She, her daughter, and an unnamed boyfriend had reportedly disappeared "on or around" November 24, 1982, from the family's residence in Kansas City, Missouri.[4][5] The intent of their departure was to relocate to the state of Florida, with Clemons informing her relatives of her intentions to start life afresh in this state.[23] The boyfriend later returned to Missouri alone. This man, now deceased, has been described as both a "person of interest" and a suspect in various media reports.[24][22]

The circumstances surrounding Alisha's death, and the simultaneous disappearance of her mother, remain under active investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's department.[3] Investigators remain uncertain as to Clemons' ultimate fate. At a press conference held on December 4, 2020, Sheriff Mike Ezell informed reporters: "We do not know if she is dead or alive at this point. We're assuming the worst, but we don't know that for sure."[22]

Prior to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department's formal announcement of the identity of Delta Dawn as Alisha Ann Heinrich, the previously unknown woman accompanying the child upon the eastbound Interstate 10 bridge was theorized to have been responsible for her death in a suspected murder-suicide, although this theory is now in doubt.[6]

Akoya

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile