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DNA profile of Oklahoma's murdered 'lime lady' emerges after three decades

  • limeladysplit.jpg

    Two facial reconstructions of what the victim, nicknamed the "Lime Lady," might have looked like at the time of her death.

  • LimeLady3.jpg

    This heart-shaped tattoo was found just above the victim's left breast.

It was April 1980 when a group of fisherman discovered the body of a mystery woman along the banks of the North Canadian River in a case that has become Oklahoma's oldest unsolved murder.

The killers had covered Jane Doe's body in "quicklime," believing the chemical would hasten decomposition, but the substance instead "mummified" the body and preserved evidence, allowing the medical examiner to create a DNA profile of the woman -- long nicknamed "The Lime Lady" -- some 34 years after her death, authorities told FoxNews.com. 

"We have never been able to identify this girl for all this time," said Capt. Bob Green of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department, who, along with a team of investigators, is working to match the woman's DNA with a known missing person.

"We have never been able to identify this girl for all this time."

- Capt. Bob Green, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department

Jane Doe was shot three times in the chest with a .45 caliber handgun and dumped in brush along the east bank of the North Canadian River in the town of Jones, about 20 miles east of Oklahoma City. The fair-skinned woman with shoulder-length brown hair, who authorities say was between 18 and 25-years-old, had been lying in the thicket for about 10 days when she was found on April 18, 1980. A dime along with fibers from her clothing were found inside her chest as a result of one of the gunshot wounds, Green said.

"I believe she was dumped there and that this was the second crime scene," he said. "She was killed elsewhere."

For more than three decades, authorities hoped a distinctive marking on the young woman's body would lead to a break in the case: a small, heart-shaped tattoo just above her left breast. 

It was not until recently that authorities were able to create a DNA profile of Jane Doe. The medical examiner had preserved DNA from the body, even though forensic testing was not advanced in 1980.

Authorities from the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department have been working with workers from North Texas State University's lab in comparing Jane Doe's DNA to the profiles of other murder victims. To date, no match has been made. 

Green said it is possible the victim lived in a foster home at some point in her life because no one reported a missing woman matching her description at that time.

"That might have been a reason why nobody ever looked for her," Brown told FoxNews.com. "She could be from anywhere – not necessarily Oklahoma."

Green said he believes more than one person was responsible for her death, and noting that, "violent outlaw biker gangs" were present in Oklahoma in 1980.

According to a profile created on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, the woman is described as a white female, about 5-foot-6 and weighing 115 pounds at the time of her death. The report says Jane Doe had an appendectomy scar and extensive dental work, with some teeth out of alignment.  

Green said that once authorities positively identify the so-called Lime Lady, they will be much closer to finding her killers.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call authorities at 405-713-1017. 

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