Author Topic: MONMOUTH COUNTY JANE DOE: WF, 15-20, found in Monmouth County, NJ - December 10, 1988  (Read 419 times)

Akoya

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http://articles.philly.com/1998-12-15/news/25723551_1_honecker-human-skull-human-skeleton

Skull's Identity Defies Decade Of Police Work A Young Woman's Remains Were Found In Monmouth County In 1988. Officials Are Hoping For New Leads.

By Lillian Micko, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
POSTED: December 15, 1998
Ten years ago, a resident helping to clear some land for a bicycle trail in the small Shore community of Atlantic Highlands in Monmouth County came upon something hard in the dirt.

A piece of plastic, perhaps. Maybe a ball. But a human skull? That is what it turned out to be, and more excavating uncovered 85 percent of a human skeleton.

Studies at the time produced this profile of the body's possible identity: white female, age 15 to 18, between 5-foot-1 and 5-4, and between 100 and 120 pounds.

Among the law-enforcement officials at the scene that day, Dec. 10, 1988, was Robert A. Honecker Jr., director of investigations for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

Honecker, now the second assistant prosecutor, is hoping the 10-year anniversary sparks renewed interest in the case and new leads on the identity of the remains.

At the time of the discovery, he and a few other investigators who had some training in the recovery of skeletal remains arranged for a forensic anthropologist to be taken to the location, Honecker said last week.

The specialist determined that the clothing on the remains, including hippie-era platform shoes and a long-sleeved laced top, indicated that the bones had been there since the late 1960s or early 1970s, Honecker said.

Because of the passage of time, there was no ``body'' for an autopsy, although an examination showed there had been no trauma to any bones, he said. The anthropologist's findings were turned over to a State Police artist who produced a sketch that was distributed widely. However, there was no break in the case.

In 1992, Honecker said, new techniques and the assistance of the FBI led to the creation of a clay reconstruction over the skull. Again, hundreds of photos were distributed of the model, showing what the young woman might have looked like. Still nothing. At that point, Honecker said, the investigation had covered almost every state and had extended overseas. Leads were followed in England by Interpol, the international investigation agency. Nothing still.

In 1997, several pieces of the skeletal remains were sent for DNA profiling to LabCorp in North Carolina. Three months ago, the results of that analysis led to a profile that seemed to lead to a major break: The young woman's possible appearance matched the description of a girl who had been missing from the Mount Holly area since 1975.

A DNA sample from the girl's father was taken, but testing showed that the skeletal remains could not have been those of his daughter, Honecker said.

Honecker said he was optimistic that with even greater technological advances, science could help investigators finally identify the girl, who would have been a woman in her 40s today.

``Someone out there is related to her,'' he said. ``Someone may still be looking for her and be having hopes of finding her. She may be somebody's niece, daughter or sister. . . . We would like to bring closure.''

Anyone with information that may help identify the remains is asked to call Capt. Philip George or Detective Adam Hubeny in the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Sgt. Carolyn Thompson of the Atlantic Highlands police at 732-291-1212.

Akoya

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The area is really very nice. Rt. 35 passes through Atlantic Highlands and it's the main road to the bridge at Sandy Hook and the ferry to NYC. Bayside Drive is a small private community lane that is barely wide enough for two cars. It's a secluded area that sits high over the bay and the homes have a beautiful view of NYC. The homes are very expensive. There's a steep drop down to the water and it's all trees and woods. From what I was reading, local residents were clearing a trail down to the main bike trail that goes along the water. Someone had to have put this victim in the woods at that location. This was not just a victim who was dumped out of a car. The perp knew the area and she wasn't found along the edge of the road. This was not a location that had easy access. She spent up to 15 years in those woods without anyone seeing her. It doesn't even sound like she was buried. It sounds like she was left in the location where she was eventually found and the clothing was left nearby.

I feel that whoever did this was either local to the area or knew that section of Atlantic Highlands. The person had to know how to get to Batside Drive and the woods. I don't think it was someone who was passing through. She was dumped in a fairly isolated location. I have no idea where our Jane Doe is from but I do think that whoever killed her was local. There were several serial killers running around northern New Jersey in the 1970s, but most of them were in jail by the time she was probably killed.

I read that when the archaeologists were called in, they divided the area around her into four grids and 85% of her skeleton was recovered. It doesn't sound like wildlife got to her and scattered her remains. She was probably just covered with fifteen years of leaves and vegetation. The Monmouth County Medical Examiner has DNA and dental records. They just need to connect her to someone who is missing and they will be able to prove if it's a match. The bad condition of her teeth tells me she didn't have much money. She could have been a prostitute from one of the nearby urban areas.

Akoya

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The houses on Bayside Dr. sit high over the water like this. It's a steep drop to the water. From what I was reading, she was found in the woods in one of the steep areas.



New York City and New York Bay in the distance.



This is one of the cleared bike paths down to the larger Henry Hudson Bike Trail. It sounds like she was left in the woods off of one of these access paths.



This is Bayside Dr. in front of a house. It's just a quiet little street. It's not a main road to anywhere.


Akoya

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There are many more homes on Bayside Dr. than there were in the 1970s. It was a much more isolated location. The construction of large expensive homes had started, though. Executives from places like Wall St. were starting to build large homes in the area because it was so easy to get into lower Manhattan with the Highlands Ferry. The ferry time is actually less than traffic congestion time trying to get through the tunnels and bridges. The area has everything - access to NYC, marinas, beaches, and the ocean for fun. Atlantic Highlands became very appealing and very expensive.

I was wondering if someone was throwing a party on Bayside Drive and prostitutes were involved. Someone could have brought a group of prostitutes over on the ferry for a party. The coroner's report says that there was no trauma or injury to any of her bones. I wonder if she died from a 1970s drug overdose and was dumped in the woods. Who would be looking for a prostitute and who would know where to look for a prostitute? Someone in that Bayside Dr. area knows what happened to her. She was only wearing the white socks, but she wasn't injured or beaten. They have no idea what her cause of death was.

Akoya

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The anthropologist's findings were turned over to a State Police artist who produced a sketch that was distributed widely. However, there was no break in the case. In 1992, Honecker said, new techniques and the assistance of the FBI led to the creation of a clay reconstruction over the skull. Again, hundreds of photos were distributed of the model, showing what the young woman might have looked like. Still nothing.

http://articles.philly.com/1998-12-15/news/25723551_1_honecker-human-skull-human-skeleton

Akoya

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xclusions
The following people have been ruled out as being this decedent:
First Name Last Name Year of Birth State LKA

Carol Donn 1963 Florida
Margaret Fox 1960 New Jersey
Brenda Green 1972 Alabama
Lorraine Herbster 1962 New Jersey
Sandra Hopler 1955 Pennsylvania
Charlotte Loomis 1958 New Jersey
Tammie McCormick 1972 New York
Judith O'Donnell 1961 New York
Robyn Pettinatto 1960 New Jersey
Patricia Schmidt 1964 Virginia
Patricia Seelbaugh 1956 Pennsylvania
Sheryl Tillinghast 1956 New York
Karen Zendrosky 1963 New Jersey


https://identifyus.org/cases/1458

Akoya

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Scorpio

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Monmouth County Jane Doe has been identified as Nancy Carol Fitzgerald, of Bloomfield, NJ.




Scorpio

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https://people.com/human-interest/skeletal-remains-found-1988-missing-teen-girl-vanished-50-years-ago-new-jersey/

Skeletal Remains Found in 1988 Belonged to Teen Girl Who Vanished 50 Years Ago, Investigators Say
By Abigail Adams
Published on December 6, 2022 04:03 PM

 New Jersey officials have confirmed that a set of skeletal remains found in 1988 belong to a teenage girl who went missing 50 years ago.

Nancy Carol Fitzgerald was 16 when she vanished the day after Easter on April 2, 1972, according to a press release from the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago.

Her remains were discovered 16 years later on Dec. 10, 1988, during a community clean-up near the Henry Hudson Bike Trail in Atlantic Highlands. For more than three decades, it was unclear whose remains were found.

Through interviews and DNA analysis, officials determined that they belonged to Fitzgerald, the MCPO said on Monday.

"Today's announcement marks the culmination of decades of hard work by a network of individuals whose collective determination and ingenuity proved inexhaustible," Santiago said in a statement.

 Fitzgerald lived with her family on Mohr Avenue in Bloomfield when she vanished in 1972, according to the prosecutor's office. The circumstances surrounding Fitzgerald's disappearance and death remain unclear.

"To that end, we are urging anyone who may have any information about this matter whatsoever to come forward and tell us what they know," Santiago said.

"Ms. Fitzgerald's peers would all likely be in their 60s today," he added, "so we firmly believe that it is not too late to determine what happened to her and why and, if possible, to hold any living person who may be responsible accountable for it."

 Like authorities, Fitzgerald's sister Kathleen Unterberger still has questions about her sister's death, according to the Asbury Park Press. She was 15 when her sibling went missing, and is now one of only two living relatives of Fitzgerald.

Unterberger, who lives in Pennsylvania, said she helped authorities identify her sister's remains once the MCPO located her through a distant female relative in Georgia.

The prosecutor's office said it was able to make the connection after contacting Bode Technology, a Virginia-based DNA analysis firm, in 2020 "to pursue a forensic genealogical review of the case" after previous profiles were unsuccessful.

 Unterberger traveled cross-country in search of her sister after she disappeared, the Asbury Park Press reported. She told the paper that the identification of her sister's remains has left her with a jumble of emotions.

"I never really stopped thinking about her," Unterberger explained, "but when I stopped feeling about it, life got easier, I guess. But now I have that feeling again. I just want to hold her."

Anyone with information about Fitzgerald is asked to call MCPO Detective Raynor at 800-533-7443 or Atlantic Highlands Police Department Lt. Michael Zudonyi at 732-291-1212.