On November 10, 1979, the body of a teenaged girl was found in a field, in Caledonia, New York. This was off U.S Route 20, near the Genesee River (37 KM, or 23 miles, from Rochester). The farmer had originally thought he’d discovered a trespassing hunter in his corn field, after catching a glimpse of red clothing. However, as he approached, the farmer discovered that it was actually the body of a dead teenager wearing a red bright red jacket. The farmer quickly called the police.
The girl was fully clothed, with no evidence of sexual assault. The young woman had been shot twice (one bullet had struck her in the back, and the other shot above her right eye). Investigators believed that the victim had not turned or flinched, and that she had likely been taken by surprise. Her cause of death was determined to be severe haemorrhage from the two gunshot wounds. The victim’s pockets had been turned inside out, and she had no ID, or wallet on her. The authorities nicknamed the unknown girl ‘Caledonia Jane Doe’, or ‘Cali Doe’ for short.
He or she found that the young woman had been shot in the head while she was standing at the edge of the cornfield near the road during the autopsy. Some blood was found on the ground where she had been shot. The girl was then shot in the back after being dragged into the cornfield. Young man or woman was left for dead and was bleeding out in the rain.
A lot of people heard about the body of the teen when it was first found. Police in the area had worked hard on the Jane Doe case, but they had to follow up on thousands of leads from the public.
John York was the first officer to arrive at the scene. He had worked as a deputy sheriff for the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. York was chosen as the sheriff of Livingston County’s rural parts in 1989. In fact, he kept that job until 2013.
John York made sure that the Cali Doe investigation was always at the top of his mind while he was sheriff. Over the years, York put up flyers all over the country in the hopes that someone would be able to help him solve the Jane Doe case. He looked into a lot of possible leads in the case and even talked to serial k*illers who said they attacked and k*illed the girl.
John York said this about the Caledonia Jane Doe case: “It was not only a very difficult case, especially when a child is that young, but it’s become quite difficult for me myself.” There aren’t many open mur*ders here. I think every homicide detective will tell you the same thing: if you go to the scene of the crime and do an investigation, it won’t be long before you can identify the victim and, in turn, find the k*iller. We’re still trying to do that 27 years later.
The investigation had begun to slow down by 1980. The “Unidentified Girl” was to be buried at Greenmount Cemetery in Dansville, New York, by the county government.
Between 13 and 19 years old, Cali Doe was thought to be. This would mean that her birthday was between 1958 and 1967. She was 120 pounds and 5 feet 3 inches tall. Her light brown shoulder-length hair had been dyed a lighter shade on the front about four months before she died. She had brown eyes. She had coral-colored nail polish on her toenails.
Authorities had a hard time figuring out who the victim was because it rained nonstop for eleven hours in the area the night Caledonia Jane Doe was k*illed, washing away a lot of forensic evidence. The young woman’s body and clothes did not have any DNA evidence on them. Their name or age of the woman was a secret.
The Caledonia Jane Doe, whose real name turned out to be Tammy Alexander. Thanks to the Sheriff’s Department of Livingston County.
They could tell she had just come back from a warmer place because she had tan lines on her upper body. Since tanning beds weren’t common in the 1970s, they thought the lines on the skin were from living in a warmer place. In the fall, it wasn’t usually warm enough in upstate New York for those lines to show. The girl was also pink on her shoulders and had pimples on her chest and face. She had many scars. A half-inch scar ran along the line of her hair, a one-inch scar ran across her left shoulder, and she had small scars on her fingers, ankles, and legs. On the inside of her right thigh, there was an old burn mark. Her blood type was A minus.
The forensic team looked at the victim’s teeth and saw that she didn’t have any fillings or restorations. It looked like she had never been to the dentist in her short life. Unfortunately, this means that dental records probably wouldn’t be able to help them find her. Her first and second molars were very badly decayed. None of her wisdom teeth had come in yet.
The girl had eaten not long before she died. In her body, they found sweet corn, potatoes, and boiled ham in a can. The police were able to figure out that her last meal was at a Lima diner. The waitress knew the girl because she shared that she had been at the diner the night she was ki*lled and had dinner with an unknown man.
She was wearing a red windbreaker jacket for men that was lined with nylon. The jacket she was wearing had black stripes going down the arms and said “Auto Sports Products, Inc.” on the label. Police looked at the jacket to try to figure out who she was. The jackets had been given out as a promotional item, and they couldn’t be found after they were given out.
He or she also wore a boy’s plaid button-up shirt with a collar and size 7 tan corduroy pants. There are blue underwear, knee socks, and a white 32C bra. She wore brown shoes. She also wore a silver necklace with three small turquoise stones that looked like it was made by hand and might have been Native American. She wore two metal keychains on the loops on her front belt. One was shaped like a heart and had a hole cut out for a key. The other keychain was also shaped like a heart. “He who holds the Key can open my heart” was written on the keychain. The fact that the keychains were sold in vending machines on the New York State Thruway led police to believe that the victim had traveled that route before she died. They were pretty common and probably wouldn’t help figure out who the girl was.
A.38-caliber handgun was used to ki*ll the young person. The dead slug was found in the dirt under the victim by the police. They put it up against hundreds of other bullets fired from guns that had been seized, but it didn’t match any guns from North America or Europe.
There were billboards all over the United States with information about the mu*rder of the young girl put up by the FBI. They hoped that people would come forward with important details. People thought about the young m*urder victim because of the billboards while the police tried to solve the case.
Face-to-face copy of the man who ate at the diner with Caledonia Jane Doe on the night she was kil*led. The police still don’t know who the man is, but they think he may have ki*lled the girl.
I worked as a waitress at the Lima diner. Her name was Marge Bradford. The woman told the police that she had seen the young victim the night the girl was k*illed. Around 8:30 PM, the girl came in with an older white man who wore black glasses with wire edges. He was said to be between 5’8″ and 5’9″ tall, have dark, curly hair, and wear a plaid shirt. A tan station wagon with side panels was being driven by the man.
“Why would you buy someone dinner, ki*ll them, and then throw their body in a cornfield 45 minutes later?””Jane Doe, the young woman who ate at her diner the night she was ki*lled,” Marge Bradford said.
There were calls from truckers who said they had seen the girl. She had been trying to get to different places by hitchhiking. A truck driver told police that he saw the girl at a truck stop the night she was kil*led. The girl told him that she was trying to get to Boston.
In 2005, the bodies of the Caledonia Jane Doe were exhumed so that the police could look into her case more deeply. This was possible because forensic science had come a long way. After the girl’s body was dug up, her teeth were sent to be analyzed for minerals and forensic isotopes. Her teeth were connected to the minerals and chemical make-up of drinking water in different parts of North America. More research showed that she most likely grew up in the south or southwest of the United States. They were able to get some DNA from her body, which they hoped would help them figure out who she was.
Since Paul Chambers is a new investigator for the medical examiner’s office in Monroe County, New York, he asked that the clothing of the victim be sent to the Palynology Laboratory at Texas A&M University. His job is as an investigator at the medical examiner’s office in Rochester. He had been a police officer in England for many years and studied forensic archaeology. Investigators looked at the young woman’s clothes through a palynological lens after Chambers got permission.
Forensic investigators look at the pollen grains or spores that are on a piece of evidence. This can help them figure out where the person or thing was in relation to the pollen. Palynomorphs don’t break down easily. Police and court cases in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand use forensic palaeontology all the time. It has also been used to find people who ki*lled a lot of people in Bosnia and Hungary after the war. But only about a dozen times in the US has palynology been used, and there are only two experts in the whole country.
The Cali Doe had been in a certain place before she died, which could have been Florida, southern California, Arizona, or northern Mexico, according to the police. When tests showed that she had isotopes in her bones, this belief was strengthened even more.
“Forensic palynology isn’t used more often in this country because it’s not well known,” Paul Chambers said. “It’s the same as DNA, blood, or mineral studies—a tool that has been very helpful in some cases.” Since 1975, I’ve been trying to get people’s attention, but until 9/11, most of it didn’t work. The government is interested in many new ways to try to stop terrorism, and this is just one of them.
Different kinds of pollen were found on the victim’s clothes by the police. There were bits of spruce, birch, oak, and Casuarina (also known as “she oak” or Australian pine). The researchers were able to compare these pollen grains to samples from the spot where the girl’s body was found in 1979. They could compare what they found on her clothes with this control sample.
It was helpful that the different species were found on the victim’s clothes. That wasn’t really telling because oak trees grow all over the country. There are spruce and birch trees in the New York area and other places as well. The researchers looked at the control sample and found that it did not contain any oak, spruce, or birch pollen grains. This is because none of these trees grew in the rural area that was used as a body dump. The spruce and birch that were on her were from a type of tree that only grows in the California mountains.
The team was most interested in the Australian pine. This species has spread and now only grows in some parts of North America. Mexico, south Florida, south Texas, the University of Arizona and Arizona State, and three parts of California: the North Bay of San Francisco, the San Luis Obispo area, and the San Diego area. The Australian pine can’t live in the fall or winter in New York. Scientists were sure that she had come into contact with the Casuarina pollen grains somewhere other than where the body was dumped.
They thought that southern California, especially San Diego, would be the best place for these pollen grains to live. Because the girl had tan lines, it was thought that she had lived near San Diego and had traveled through the spruce and birch-forested Sierra Nevada mountains at some point. After that, she would have gone through Reno on her way to upstate New York. When the pollen grains were looked at again in 2012, they were found to have only come from Florida, California, or Arizona.
Based on reconstructing the face of her remains, a portrait was made in 2010 of what they thought the Cali Doe looked like. By putting the picture on a public database, the police hoped that someone would recognize her and finally know who she was. Carl Koppelman, an artist, put the face back together.
Laurel Nowell, a high school friend of Tammy Alexander’s, tried to get in touch with her through social media in 2014. The fact that Tammy always had a big smile on her face made Laurel Nowell remember how bubbly and happy her old high school friend had been. She tried to get in touch with an old friend but couldn’t find her. Laurel did find Pamela Dyson, who is Tammy Alexander’s half-sister, though.
That’s where Pamela Dyson had been living. She hadn’t lived with her sister since she was 11 years old and was sent to live with her grandmother.
When Pamela talked to her family, she found out that Tammy hadn’t been heard from since the late 1970s. Pamela learned from Tammy Alexander’s ex-boyfriend that the last time he saw her was in the spring of 1979. She had found a ride with someone at the truck stop that her mother and stepfather owned. She also worked at the truck stop. When Tammy was 15, she would often ask truck drivers to take her somewhere.
Laurel and Pamela started to worry about Tammy because they thought that she might have been hurt after she left home. In the beginning, Tammy’s mother reported her daughter missing, but the police didn’t try very hard to find her because she had a history of running away. The two women went to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in August 2014 and made a new report of becoming missing. The police told Pamela and Laurel that they couldn’t find any proof of a 1979 report of a missing person.
Carl Koppelman drew this reconstruction of the Caledonia Jane Doe’s face in 2010. The artist saw the girl’s misspelled file and knew her from a drawing he had made of her a few years before. She was found to be Tammy Jo Alexander, a runaway teen.
Carl Koppelman, the artist who did the reconstruction and a moderator for the Websleuths online community, called the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the regional administrator of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children soon after the missing persons report was filed. He said that he thought there might be a link between the reconstruction photo and the new missing persons report of Tammy. With Websleuths, people can work together to solve cold cases, like cases of bodies that haven’t been identified.
The police chose to take a DNA sample from Pamela Dyson to compare it to the DNA sample they took from Caledonia Jane Doe’s body when it was dug up in 2005. It was found to be a positive match when they looked at the mitochondrial DNA. She was named Tammy Alexander and lived in Caledonia.
On January 26, 2015, Tammy Alexander was officially named as the Caledonia Jane Doe. It had been more than 35 years since her body was found. It had been more than thirty years since her body had been found and identified. After all these years, the family finally found out what had happened to the young teen.
Pamela Dyson, Tammy Alexander’s older half-sister, thought that her sister had run away from home when she was fifteen to get away from a bad home life. The boys that the girls had were not the same. Pamela moved in with her dad’s grandmother when she was eleven years old.
Alex Alexander was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 2, 1963. The place where she lived was Brooksville, Florida. Her birth father wasn’t really a part of her life. She had been in foster care and even stayed with her grandmother at times. Even so, Tammy lived with her mother, Barbara Jenkins, and her stepfather most of the time. Barbara was hooked on prescription drugs and had major mood swings and anger problems. She had thought about kil*ling herself and was hard to live with at times. Her job was to serve people at a truck stop. When Tammy was a teenager, she started working at the same truck stop as her mother.
It was Pamela Dyson who said, “My mother made Joan Crawford look bad.” She then said that her mom was “a screamer and a slapper.”
Lorel Nowell, Tammy’s friend, and I would sometimes hitchhike with truckers. The two friends had gone all the way to California in 1978. They called Laurel’s parents when they got there and asked for plane tickets to get back to Florida. Tammy hitched rides with long-haul truck drivers a lot by the time she was fifteen.
Barb Jenkins, Tammy’s mother, died on January 17, 1998, when she was 56 years old. In her obituary, Tammy Alexander was named, which meant that she was dead. No one from Tammy’s family knows who wrote the obituary that said she had died.
Pamela, her half-sister, thought for years that her sister was still alive. She thought that Tammy had only left because her home life was too hard and had started a new life away from her mother and stepfather. She thought Tammy was happily married with kids, like Pamela had imagined. She had no idea that her sister had died soon after leaving home, and the case was still open.
According to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, they were able to figure out a lot about where Tammy Alexander was right before she died because they had gotten so many tips from people. A Tennessee truck driver came forward and told police that he had heard about the mur*der on the radio. The police said he had a “significant lead.”
The police found out in March 2015 that Tammy Alexander had ties to a “former prison ministry” in Young Harris, Georgia. People who were on probation or parole were the main focus of the program. The police were able to find three men of interest who knew Tammy Alexander through the program. Samples of DNA were taken. After DNA was found on three men’s clothes in November 2016, the FBI said they were not a match. They were no longer thought to be important to the case, so the FBI looked for new clues in the mu*rder case.
After much thought, Pamela Dyson and her family chose that her half-sister should stay at the Greenmount Cemetery in Dansville, New York, instead of having her bones moved closer to their home. To help everyone deal with their loss, Tammy’s family chose to have a funeral service at her grave.
Pamela Dyson said, “I’m really glad for the end.” “But it hurts to know how she died.” It’s awful; no one should have to be shot and dragged through the woods.
The “Jane Doe” headstone was taken down by the Dougherty Funeral Home in Livonia, New York. ‘Tammy Jo Alexander’ was written on a new one that was put in its place. The following words were written on her gravestone: “Let us not forget an unknown girl.” Nov 9, 1979. And flights of angels sing you to sleep.
A service was held for Tammy’s family on June 10, 2015, and about one hundred family members and people from the community paid their respects at her grave. The week before she died, she would have been sixteen.
Police and the people of Livingston were thanked by Pamela Dyson and her family for making sure that Tammy Alexander was not forgotten and that the police were still looking for her k*iller.
Three sound clips of Tammy Alexander’s voice were released by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office on November 2, 2020. And in July 1979, she put a tape of herself on and sent it to her boyfriend. He didn’t tell anyone about it until he was finally asked to by the police.
In 2015, John York, who used to be the sheriff of Livingston County, told the press that the Caledonia Jane Doe had finally been identified as Florida teen Tammy Jo Alexander. This picture was taken by Annette Lein.
The Caledonia Jane Doe has been positively identified as Tammy Alexander, and the police are now trying to figure out who kil*led her. York, who used to be sheriff, said that they had looked into about 10,000 possible leads in the case.
“We’ve always said that knowing the victim is one of the most important parts of solving this case.” This case is really hot. We’re going to work even harder than before.
The young victim was featured on several TV shows, including “Prime Suspect,” “USA Today,” and “America’s Most Wanted.” After her body was properly identified, two news outlets in Rochester, New York, worked together to make the podcast “Finding Tammy Jo,” which has several parts. It aired in May 2016 and was about the kil*ling of the girl and the investigation that went on for years. Veronica Volk from “WXXI News” and Gary Craig from “The Democrat and Chronicle” were the hosts of the podcast. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happened by talking to police, witnesses, and Tammy’s family and friends.
It has been talked about why it took so long for Tammy Alexander’s body to be identified as the Caledonia Jane Doe since she was named as such in 2015.
He said, “This case could have been solved long ago if she had a parent or family that cared enough to even want to make a missing person report.” John York was a former sheriff.
Some of Tammy Alexander’s family members say that there was first a report of her disappearance. The deputies came to the house and took hair from Tammy’s hairbrush to use for DNA tests, Pamela Dyson remembers. She thought the police didn’t care about the girl’s case because she had run away.
When Tammy’s family got together, her mother and stepfather would often talk about the missing teen. They were going to let the girl’s family know about any possible leads in her case. Pamela Dyson said she believed her mother and stepfather when they said they had reported Tammy missing. She didn’t check into it herself because she thought it was “being handled.”
When Laurel Nowell and Pamela Dyson went to file a report about a missing person, they were given reasons why the original report, if it existed, could not be found. As of now, all paper records had been thrown away, and only electronic records were left. The report from Tammy Alexander could not be found in their system.
It is said that there has never been a report made about Tammy Alexander by both the Hernando and Livingston County sheriff’s offices. ABC Action News talked to Denise Moloney, a spokesperson for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. She told the reporters that paper records would never be thrown away or purged.
People should know that Tammy Alexander’s family had been looking for her for years, even though they didn’t have a lot of tools available at the time. They couldn’t use their cell phones or the internet, so they had to use phone books and talk to people in the area to see if anyone knew where Tammy had gone.
In the 1990s, Tangy’s cousin Hailey Peat tried to find her online. She looked for her cousin on the internet but couldn’t find her. She thought that Tammy Alexander might have changed her name to avoid being found.
He admitted to kil*ling the Cali Doe in 1984. His name was Henry Lee Lucas. Besides Michelle Busha and Carole Cole, he had also admitted to k*illing hundreds of other people. At first, the police were thrilled that Lucas was admitting to more than one crime. Some cases had been open for years, but they were able to close them. But as time went on, the police started to doubt how many crimes Lucas was admitting to.
Some of them realized that Lucas had been asked leading questions and that some officers had shown him photos of the crime scene that added to his story. Lucas then used these photos to back up his confessions. Police thought he wasn’t telling the truth because there wasn’t enough proof to show that he was the ki*ller in those confessed ki*llings. There were also witnesses who said they knew where Lucas was during some of the ki*llings, and it was physically impossible for the man to have gotten to the m*urder scenes in time to ki*ll the victim. People did not believe what he said. Police were not sure if he was telling the truth when he said he ki*lled Caledonia Jane Doe.
There was no doubt that Henry Lee Lucas k*illed people. Lucas kil*led many people between 1960 and 1983, including his own mother. Even though the man had real victims, he said he had kil*led hundreds more. Even though he said he k*illed a lot of people, he later said those claims were lies. Lucas had already been found guilty of k*illing 11 people and was sentenced to death for the m*urder of “Orange Socks” Debra Jackson, who hadn’t been named yet.
Otis Elwood Toole, a friend of Henry Lee Lucas’s, told the police that he had found the Caledonia Jane Doe near a park in Philadelphia. He and the girl went on a trip for a while and then joined forces with Lucas again. Ottis Toole told the police in Caledonia, New York, that he had ki*lled the girl.
A separate interview with Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas was done by the police to see if they would stick to their story or change it. To the police, both men told the same story, even though they didn’t know what the other had said. Since then, both men have died, and the police couldn’t say for sure if they had anything to do with the girl’s death. They were both not charged with ki*lling her.
Ottis Toole was from Jacksonville, Florida, but he had been hitchhiking all over the United States for most of his life. In the past, he had often made money by begging and prostitution. In the 1970s, Toole was linked to the deaths of Patricia Webb, Ellen Holman, and other people.
In 1976, Henry Lee Lucas and Toole met in a soup kitchen in Jacksonville. They decided to sleep together right away. They had become close on a personal level and also worked together as thieves. Toole said that he and Lucas were involved in 108 mu*rders and that they sometimes worked for a mysterious cult called “The Hands of Death.”
Toole told the police that he and Lucas had ki*lled 108 people and been part of a “cult,” but the police couldn’t confirm a lot of what Toole said. Both men were thought to be “compliant interviewees” because they lied about crimes that had not been solved, which the police then marked as “solved.”
There was another idea that Christopher Wilder was the person who k*illed Tammy Alexander. Wilder, who was born in Australia, took at least a dozen young girls hostage and kil*led them in the early 1980s. He began his journey in Florida and continued through states like California, Nevada, and New York and more. He would often get young girls to come into his truck by saying he had a modeling job for them.
The jacket that Caledonia Jane Doe wore was one of the reasons why Wilder was thought to be the possible kil*ler in her case. Chris Wilder had worked as a photographer and a race car driver. He might have been the owner of the Auto Sports jacket. Also, Wilder had ki*lled several people in the Florida area, which is where Tammy Alexander was from. On April 13, 1984, he was ki*lled by the police. He took the truth about who ki*lled Tammy Alexander with him to the grave if he was.
It is really sad that Tammy Alexander’s identity was unknown for so long. It’s still not clear if Tammy’s family filed the first missing persons report in the 1970s or if she went missing for those whole years. When she first went missing, did the police just give up on her case because she often ran away from home? Or had her parents never actually reported her missing? That is not known. But it is truly sad that the investigation took so long to identify her.
Tammy Alexander was finally found. However, her ki*ller has never been apprehended. So much time has passed since she was ki*lled. It’s possible that the person who k*illed her has already died. They might still be out there, though.