A television drama “The Forgotten” helped identify a Jane Doe whose body was dumped along Interstate 70 in Englewood 22 years ago, possibly by a serial killer.
DNA tests confirmed that the body found in 1987 belonged to a 21-year-old Paula Beverly Davis of Kansas City, said Ken Betz, director of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.
The victim’s sister called police after watching the ABC TV show “The Forgotten,” which deals with a fictional group of volunteers who help identify John and Jane Does. In each episode, a link to a missing persons database is shown. Stephanie Clack searched the database for her older sister. “The characteristics of my sister, her tattoos, led me to Ohio,” Clack said.
Now that they identified the body, Englewood police are pursing leads that might lead them to a suspect, possibly a convicted serial killer spending the rest of his life in a Missouri prison. Sgt. Mike Lang said the department has worked the death of Davis for the two-plus decades since her body was found along Interstate 70, although he said “We do not believe she was killed in Ohio”.
Davis’ body was found on a grassy slope near the Hoke Road entrance ramp to eastbound I-70. The victim had two fresh tattoos — a rose and a unicorn above each breast. She appeared well-nourished, her brown curly hair was held back by a blue bandana. She was partially nude and had no shoes. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office ruled she died by ligature strangulation.
Lang said the crime lab is reprocessing all the evidence with the hope of finding biological evidence from which to extract DNA. There was no sign that Davis was sexual attacked, Lang said. “There was a serial killer in the Kansas City area at the time,” the sergeant said. “He was convicted two years ago, and there are some similarities between his victims and Davis. It’s worth a look at.”
Lorenzo Gilyard was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for the murder of six women in the Kansas City area. Authorities have said they believe he was involved in the deaths of at least 13 women, most of them prostitutes. Many of Gilyard’s victims were strangled, found partial nude and without shoes. Lang noted the apartment Davis and her friend shared was within 2 miles of where some of the bodies were dumped. Further investigation will show if those two cases are connected.
-article by Doug Page, rewritten and adapted by admin-