Newton County Cold Case

Newton County Cold Case

Authorities are hoping technology and a little help from the public can help them identify a woman who died in Newton County more than 20 years ago.
NEOSHO, MO.--- "She had a sign that said she was hitchhiking," said Retired Sgt. Miles Parks, Missouri Highway Patrol.

In dark clothing, walking under a highway overpass early in the morning, an approaching pickup truck didn't have enough time to brake and miss her. Leaving Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Miles Parks to try and track down who she was. Now retired, he still remembers the case.

"She had a fanny pack, some other receipts, a bus ticket and 250 some phone numbers," said Parks. 

But no identification. listed as Jane Doe, she was a white woman, 30 to 45 years old. She was 5'3 and weighed about 150 pounds. Parks followed up on the leads he had, but they went nowhere. So he cataloged anything that could match her to a missing person listing.

"Look for any marks, scars, tattoos, and fingerprinted her, and then entered that in the national database," he said. 
The case went cold after a few years.

"Dried up after the first five years," he said.  
Fast forward another 10 years and technology had changed a lot. Even though Parks had retired, another investigator took over the case, exhuming the remains.
"Recovered some bone DNA , based on that and some other information on missing persons who were similar, they did some checking in different states," said Sgt. Mike Watson, Missouri Highway Patrol. 

But still no luck. The results have been added to a national DNA database in the hopes that someone could still come forward.

"She's got a family somewhere and I'm sure they'd like to know," said Parks. 

For more on this investigation and other cold cases in our area, click here

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