FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — On the 30th anniversary of the discovery of a woman found murdered on the side of I-270 in Frederick, she is still yet to be identified. One organization is looking to change that by bringing awareness to her death and other unsolved murder cases like this Jane Doe.
The FBI Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, describes the woman as a white female with black or brown hair between the age of 17 and 25 when she passed away. Her cause of death remains unknown as her body was found badly decomposed at the bottom of an embankment along the southbound side of I-270. Investigators believe the victim had been killed as long as two weeks prior to her discovery.
The Maryland Missing Persons Network works to try and identify long-standing missing person cases and this one is no different. But for organization founder Kat Johnson, this case hits close to home. Johnson is a lifelong Frederick resident and remembers hearing about the incident when it occurred. She followed the case, thinking the Jane Doe could be someone she knew as the two women could be close in age.
“I was that age back then. I remember, literally when it happened back in 1991, I was sitting in an apartment and I followed the case for four days because you know, you think it’s going to be somebody you know at that age,” Johnson explained. “So we all follow the case for three or four days and then nothing happened. And we’re just like, ‘Oh we guess it was solved’ but, you know, then we find out it was never solved.'”
Johnson was very interested in unsolved and unidentified person cases after this incident. She started chatting with others interested in the topic over the internet. This allowed her and others to create theories about open unsolved cases and even solve a number of cases with the help of those interested internet friends. Now, she wants to do the same for this Jane Doe.
“She was possibly as young as 15-years-old and the case has never been solved. So we’re here today to remember her,” Johnson said. “She deserves justice. She’s somebody’s daughter, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s, you know, granddaughter out there. Somebody out there is looking for her. I can guarantee you that.”
David Rossmeisl moved to Frederick around the time of the accident but paid little attention to it at the time. 30 years later and now with a daughter and two granddaughters of his own, he wants to bring closure to the family of this Jane Doe. when asked how he would feel if it were his daughter, he could not answer, saying he didn’t even want to think about it and that he is lucky his family is not in a similar situation.
“Just vaguely I do remember it. But of course, just moving to the area, it didn’t really hit, you know, the heart,” Rossmeisel said. “But now, it’s a real situation. And I feel strongly, now that I have time, to help in something like this, I’ll do what I can to help.”
The Maryland Missing Persons Network is trying to raise the funds necessary to run genetic testing on the remains of this Jane Doe which they hope will identify her and potentially close the case.
For more information about the Maryland Missing Persons Network, please visit their website.
To donate to DNA testing, please visit the GoFundMe page.