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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has started its own cold case unit. The unit has been operating for about a year in a half and has already closed 10 cases in that time.

Now, they are turning their attention to one of the department’s most notorious and disturbing cold cases — the case of “Little Jane Doe.”

Feb. 28, 1983, two men looking for scrap metal to fix their car lit a cigarette in the basement of an abandoned apartment building on Clemens Avenue. The light illuminated the body of a young decapitated girl.

Detectives believe the child was between 8 and 11 years old. She was found wearing just a yellow V-neck sweater. Her hands were bound behind her back with red and white nylon rope.

Investigators believe she was raped, killed, and beheaded elsewhere. Her body was dumped in the abandoned basement and found about five days later.

Detectives worked tirelessly on the case. They traveled all over the country following up on leads. Eventually, the case went cold.

Then in 2013, homicide detectives exhumed the body to gather any type of scientific evidence that could now be tested. They learned the child was most likely from the Southeast or Midwest, but they are still far from having all the answers.

Now the newly formed St. Louis City Cold Case Unit has a room devoted just to the case of Little Jane Doe.

The head of the St. Louis Metro Homicide Division, Lt. Scott Aubuchon, said Little Jane Doe was found with red polish on her fingernails. Which makes him believe she was well cared for.

He still believes that someone knows something.

“An 8, 9, 10, or 11-year-old girl doesn’t go missing without people taking notice. We are now 37 years later and I think if anyone was reluctant before to talk now is the time to come forward,” Aubuchon said. “If anyone knows a little girl, maybe a family member, who they suddenly lost track of and disappeared we want to know. We are interested in anything.”

Aubuchon said they haven’t gotten a worthwhile tip in this case in 10 to 15 years, but now is the time for detectives, the department and St. Louis to name Little Jane Doe and her killer.

If you have a tip on the Little Jane Doe case or any other cold case you can call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide unit. That number is 314- 444-5371.