(KTVI) – A young girl was found murdered and decapitated 30 years ago. Monday, crews exhumed her body. She had been buried in the Washington Park Cemetery in Berkeley, Missouri.
Crews started the exhumation around 8:00 a.m. they found her body and have taken it to the medical examiner’s office for tests.
There has been at least one other attempt to exhume the body in the past, but the remains weren’t in the listed location. The cemetery has had issues with neglect.
The case dates back to February 1983 when the body of the little girl was found with only a dirty yellow shirt on. Her hands were tied behind her back with red and white nylon rope and her head was missing.
Two men found the body while looking for pipe in the basement of an apartment building on Clemens in north St. Louis.
Police say the girl was African-American and was between 8 and 11 years old. The girl came to be known as “Little Jane Doe” or “Hope”. The murder has never been solved. A headstone for the little girl sits in the cemetery, but that isn’t where her body is buried.
Funeral director Calvin Whitaker says he along with city and county police and others, including a team from Washington University, have been researching the girl’s possible whereabouts since November and they think they know where she is likely buried.
Crews searched before without luck of finding her remains. However that changed Monday afternoon. Freddie Jefferson, a volunteer, was relieved they were found. “We found her. I just praise God we found her. I hope they can find the DNA to figure out who she belonged to and catch who did it,” said Jefferson.
The child’s body was exhumed so police can try to learn her identity, why she was killed and who killed her.