Author Topic: RICHMOND JANE DOE: F, found in Wayne County, IN sewer - 1 Ocotber 1975  (Read 167 times)


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Richmond Jane Doe is woman who was found by excavating crews working on a sewer project in October of 1975.

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NamUs UP # 6716

ME/C Case Number: OC-73-75
Wayne County, Indiana
30 to 99 year old Female

Case Report - NamUs UP # 6716
Case Information
Status Unidentified
Case number OC-73-75
Date found October 01, 1975 00:00
Date created February 21, 2010 22:10
Date last modified April 03, 2017 11:16
Investigating agency
date QA reviewed December 12, 2010 05:16

Local Contact (ME/C or Other)
Name Ron Stevens
Agency Wayne Cnty Coroners Ofc
Phone 317-694-9563
Case Manager
Name Elizabeth Murray
Phone 513.244.4948

Estimated age Adult
Minimum age 30 years
Maximum age 99 years
Race Unsure
Sex Female
Weight (pounds) , Cannot Estimate
Height (inches) 62, Estimated
Body Parts Inventory (Check all that apply)
All parts recovered
Body conditions
Not recognizable - Decomposing/putrefaction
Probable year of death 1975 to 1975
Estimated postmortem interval Months

Location Found
GPS coordinates
Address 1
Address 2
City Richmond
State Indiana
Zip code
County Wayne
Body found in a sewer.

Hair color Brown
Head hair
Straight dark brown hair.
Body hair
"pubic hair appears to be gray"

Left eye color Unknown or Missing
Right eye color Unknown or Missing
Eye description
No other distinctive body features

Status: Fingerprint information is currently not available

Clothing and Accessories
No clothing or accessories

Status: Dental information / charting is available and entered

Status: Sample is currently not available

There are currently no images available for this case.


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Dec 9, 2014

Lula Miller, who disappeared Nov. 1, 1974 from her home in Laurel and has never been found. The Indiana State Police this week will be exhuming the remains of an unidentified Jane Doe in Richmond to see if those remains are, in fact, Miller's. (Contributed)

RICHMOND — Lula Miller left her Laurel, Indiana, home Nov. 1, 1974. She was never heard from again.

Workers for a Richmond excavating company discovered a body Oct. 1, 1975, in a sewer. The decomposed remains could not be identified.

Nearly 40 years later, utilizing the Internet’s power and advanced DNA testing, Indiana State Police Sgt. Scott Jarvis hopes he’ll answer both lingering questions.

Jarvis this week will exhume from an area cemetery the remains of that body found in a sewer and submit DNA samples for testing. He thinks the results will show the remains are Miller.

“I’m more confident than not,” the 15-year ISP veteran told the Palladium-Item.

Jarvis’ journey to this point began with a January phone call from a volunteer with The Doe Network, an online database of missing persons and unidentified bodies. The volunteers comb through cases, trying to find matches, according to Jarvis.

Jarvis began researching beyond the similar time frame, proximity of location and gender match. He reviewed the cases, researched newspaper accounts at the Ball State University library and acquired the autopsy report and photos from Cincinnati.

“There are characteristics, like height and weight, and other factors that match from the autopsy,” Jarvis said. “There are similarities between this lady and the one missing from Franklin County.”

DNA was taken from members of Miller’s family and run through national police databases of unidentified bodies. There was no match. Jarvis then worked through the legal steps necessary to obtain a search warrant to exhume the remains in Richmond and analyze DNA. Final paperwork was approved last week, leading to the next step this week.

After the remains are exhumed and checked at a local funeral home, Jarvis said, the University of Indianapolis anthropology lab will conduct an examination.

“They are looking for any information they can get,” Jarvis said, “but we’re basically relying on DNA.”

Mitochondrial DNA samples will be sent to the University of North Texas for analysis. Then, Jarvis and Miller’s family members will begin a wait that could last six months, depending on the lab’s case load.

“The daughters I’m in touch with are excited. They were 2 or 3 years old when their mom left,” Jarvis said. “They’re excited about the possibility of finding her for closure, but they don’t have their hopes up. It’s still just a possibility right now.”

It’s a possibility brought about because of advances in communication between agencies and the collection and analysis of evidence. Jarvis said it would not have been unusual for cases a couple of counties apart not to be matched, especially with no means of identification available.

“Back then, they would only check for blood type,” Jarvis said. “DNA wasn’t even used back then.”

Jarvis, who is based in Pendleton District 51, has utilized modern methods to solve other cold cases. He said he’s found a missing Connersville woman and a missing Brookville man alive previously, but more often, such searches result in no answer.

“It’s interesting and frustrating, too. There’s a reason these cases go unsolved during previous investigations,” Jarvis said. “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“When you do solve one, it is rewarding.”


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EVERTON — News this week of the Indiana State Police planning to exhume the remains of a body found in Richmond, in order to see if they are the remains of a missing Laurel woman, might not have been possible without the involvement of a Fayette County resident.

It's something that Everton resident Tomijo Bolton Schmid, a local advocate for missing persons, unidentified bodies and cold cases, has been working on having happen since 2006, when she learned of the disappearance of Lula (Gillespie) Miller, a Laurel resident who disappeared in November 1974 and has never been found, she told the News-Examiner Tuesday.

Sgt. Scott Jarvis of the ISP's Pendleton Post said the agency this week will be exhuming the remains of an unidentified woman found in a Richmond sewer in October 1975 and compare the DNA from the remains to that of Miller's.

For Bolton Schmid, it's progress toward finding out what happened to Miller. She learned of Miller's story from her mother, Emma Gillespie, at a rally in 2006 remembering Bolton Schmid's brother, Jason, who was run over and killed by a vehicle in August 1986 and who Bolton Schmid believes, to this day, was murdered.

"In 2006, when I had the vigil for Jason, Lula's mother (Emma Gillespie) came to the vigil and she shared Lula's story with me," Bolton Schmid said. "That's when I started working to get something done … when I talked to her in 2006, she said 'I'd leave my porchlight on every night.' She was waiting for (Lula) to come home. She never gave up her coming home."

Bolton Schmid, formerly of Laurel herself, began looking into the disappearance of Miller a little further after speaking with Miller's mother, and posted a story and photo of Miller — provided by one of Miller's daughters, Tammy Miller — on her website,

"I got digging on some of the websites and I found the description of the lady they found (in Richmond). Every just matches (with Lula)," she said. "I just posted her story and her picture. I started sharing and I made contact (with the Doe Network)."

Something else that Miller's mother — who passed away last month at the age of 91 — told her also gave Bolton Schmid the thought that the unidentified Richmond remains could, possibly, be Miller.

"Lula's mother told me the last she heard from her was that she got a letter from Richmond saying (Lula) was getting on a Greyhound bus to go to Florida," Bolton Schmid said. "She never heard from her since."

Further contact between Bolton Schmid and Tammy Miller led to the Miller family being put in touch with the Doe Network and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs.

"She got me connected with NamUs and while I was talking with the volunteer from NamUs, Tomijo stumbled upon that Jane Doe burial plot at Earlham College in Richmond, and it sounded just like (Lula). So we contacted the state police and that's when they took over the investigation," Tammy said.

Doing that helped to get the DNA from Miller's children entered into the national DNA database maintained by NamUs — the very DNA which will be used to compare the unidentified remains to that of Miller's DNA.

"This has been well over a year in the making," Bolton Schmid said. "(The family) submitted their DNA last year."

"It's been a long time in process," Tammy added. "We've had doors slamming in our faces, but it's a 50-50 chance. We still don't know it it's her, but it could be if it isn't her, someone else is looking for who is there and they can get closure. Either way, it's win-win. The person who's there, their family will have closure. It's pretty exciting."

The Doe Network also reached out to Sgt. Jarvis about the Miller disappearance, helping more to spur the investigation.

"It took me forever to get her information to the right people," Bolton Schmid continued. "Nobody was even looking for (Lula), until we got that DNA entered."

J. Todd Matthews, who serves as director of case management and communications for NamUs — which is based at the University of North Texas, where the mitochondrial DNA samples will be sent to for analysis — and media spokesman for the Doe Network, said Bolton Schmid did play a role in bringing the Miller case to their attention.

"Tomijo helped coordinate the family to the volunteers at Doe Network," Matthews told the News-Examiner in an email Tuesday. "They have always been helpful with coordinating with NamUs for DNA collection. So pretty much she served in the role of an advocate pointing out people and resources."

Bolton Schmid said she is hopeful that the remains prove to be a match to Miller, so that closure can be brought to the Miller family and law enforcement can then begin looking at the circumstances surrounding her disappearance so long ago.

"If this is her, it's going to open up some doors," Bolton Schmid said. "And if it's not her, someone else's loved one will get to come home."

According to the Charley Project, another non-profit organization whose website,, profiles more than 9,000 "cold cases" nationwide, Miller, 27 at that time, left her residence Nov. 1, 1974 to walk to the store in Laurel and never returned. No other details were available.

According to daughter Tammy, however, rumored details are that Lula Miller was ****, beaten and thrown off the Laurel Bridge the day before her disappearance, and that she survived the incident, made it home and filed a police report with the Laurel Town Marshal at that time.

"She disappeared the day after and no one's seen her since," Tammy said. "Nobody ever filled out a missing persons report or anything. So I contacted the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, filled out a missing persons report, and that's what got the ball rolling (in the case)."

Reportedly, according to Tammy, the same group of people involved with her mother's rumored **** and ensuing disappearance are the same ones who were involved in the death of Jason Bolton as well.

If the remains are identified as Lula Miller, her daughter wants to see law enforcement pursue the case even further.

"I would," she said. "I don't know if that will ever happen, but if it doesn't, at least we'll know where Lula is, where she's been for 40 years. It's definitely a homicide, either way, and I'm pretty sure (law enforcement) will pursue that route. I don't think it's just going to stop there."

Tammy also praised Bolton Schmid for her assistance in getting her mother's disappearance the attention it deserved, as well.

"She's awesome. She is awesome," Tammy said. "I know she is having her struggles too, and we talk from time to time and try to be there for each other. She finds out information and she's been a godsend. She really has. I know there's a lot people out there, especially locally where she lives, that just want her to be quiet about Jason, but if she was to be quiet about Jason, the same thing would happen with him that happened to Lula. It's been 40 years and things are just now starting to roll."



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Your News Wire
Missing Woman Found Alive 1,000 Miles From Home FORTY Years Later - Your News Wire

A woman, Lula Miller, suspected of being Richmond Jane Doe was found alive.


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Indiana mother missing since 1974 found alive and well in Texas

(INSIDE EDITION) - An Indiana mother of three who vanished without a trace in 1974 has been found alive in Texas.

Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller was 28 when she signed away her parental rights to her three children, including a newborn, over to her parents.

A letter her parents received was postmarked from Richmond, Indiana in 1975 and was the last time they heard from Gillespie-Miller.

Gillespie-Miller thought she was too young for motherhood, she reportedly told her parents. For the next four decades, she was a missing person in the state of Indiana.

According to the Indiana State Police, that all changed after Detective Sergeant Scott Jarvis took the case in January 2014. The Doe Network, a group that assists families with missing persons investigations, initially contacted ISP about Gillespie-Miller.

Gillespie-Miller began his search in Richmond, where he discovered a case of a Jane Doe whose body was buried in an unmarked grave in the Indiana town.

The detective took a sample of Gillespie-Miller's daughter's DNA to compare to her missing mother's and potentially determine whether the buried body was hers.

While awaiting the DNA test results, police said Jarvis' investigation took him in some new directions.

He began to following the trail of a woman with similarities to Gillespie-Miller who had lived in Tennessee in the 1980’s, then moved to Texas.

That trail led to a woman who'd been living in a small Texas town since the 1990's, possibly under an alias.

After this past Thursday, Jarvis would no longer need the DNA results after Texas Rangers the detective asked to visit the woman in Texas made contact.

Police say the woman admitted to them that she is, indeed, Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller.

She is now 69 years old.

Gillespie-Miller has committed no crime, police say. Authorities will not reveal exactly where she now resides because she also retains her right to anonymity.

However, she gave police permission to give her daughter Tammy Miller her address so the two might soon reconnect.

Miller hopes to speak with her long-missing mother over the Easter weekend.

For more stories and videos, please visit INSIDE EDITION. Don't forget to watch INSIDE EDITION at 6:30 p.m. weekdays.


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For over forty years, Laurel, Indiana, has been at the center of an unsolved mystery over the disappearance of a young woman named Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller. Back in 1974, she left Laurel and vanished, and no one in her family knew her whereabouts. At least not until Thursday, when Indiana State Police found her in Texas living under an alias.

The facts behind the mystery of what happened to Lula may have been solved, but even as the story goes viral with accusations of Lula being “selfish” or a “deadbeat parent,” all of the outsiders reading about this case don’t know the whole story — not by a long shot.

Back in 1974, the widowed Gillespie-Miller was 28 years old and had just given birth to her fourth child. While news outlets report she signed over her children to her parents before she left, the backstory behind why she left has been left out, although locals can tell you why.

Just a few days before her disappearance, Gillespie-Miller was allegedly **** by four men in Laurel. Then she was beaten and thrown over the Laurel bridge to die. But Lula managed to drag herself to her mother’s house and survived, filing a police report on the incident that has since disappeared. A few days later, Lula was gone as well, so she was rumored to have been killed by her attackers to keep her silent.

Forty years later, Indiana State Police Detective Sgt. Scott Jarvis took over the cold case at the request of the Doe Network, a website that helps people seeking missing family members. According to her family, the last contact with Lula was a letter postmarked from nearby Richmond, Indiana, in 1975.

After reviewing the case, Jarvis noted the similarity in her appearance to a Jane Doe found in Richmond in 1975, who was buried in an unmarked grave there. In December 2014, Jarvis obtained a search warrant to exhume the body for DNA analysis, using a sample from Gillespie-Miller’s daughter, Tammy Miller.

In a phone call with Jarvis on March 17 to get an update on the status of the DNA testing, he reported that results of the DNA were still pending on the exhumed body, but he gave no indication that the case had taken a different turn and that evidence had been found indicating Lula may still be alive.

According to the Indiana State Police press release, Jarvis noticed similarities between Gillespie-Miller and a woman who lived in Tennessee in the 80s and later moved to Texas, where she might still be living under an alias. Thursday, Jarvis contacted Texas Rangers to make a visit to the home of the woman he suspected might actually be Lula Gillespie-Miller. The Rangers reported that she admitted her true identity as the woman — now 69 years old — who disappeared from Laurel, Indiana, back in 1974.

The press release also reported that Lula gave permission for Jarvis to pass on her contact information to her daughter, Tammy, who was too young to remember her mother when she left.

As the story spread across social media, many were posting about what a horrible mother she was to abandon her children, without knowing the context of why she left. Some may still wonder why Lula Gillespie-Miller felt she had to leave instead of fighting for justice against her attackers.

If you ask locals, they know the answer, but they probably won’t tell you.

When the story of the Laurel Five murders broke over four years ago, the crime was painted as having occurred in a quaint small town that never sees violence or murder. Laurel, with a population as of 2010 of 512 people, lies just south of the Fayette county line in Franklin County. While the Franklin and Fayette County areas certainly don’t see the crime rates of large cities, the rural farming communities have seen a fair number of unsolved disappearances and murders over the years.


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Richmond, Indiana


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