Pollen testing shows the woman was from areas in Arizona or New Mexico
Thursday, May 17, 2018 – 6:15am
– For Immediate Release –



SHERIFF’S OFFICE                                            

COUNTY OF VERNON                                     




                                            JOHN B. SPEARS, SHERIFF                         NATHAN CAMPBELL, CHIEF DEPUTY






The 1984 Unidentified female in Vernon County, Wisconsin


The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) are requesting the help of the public in Wisconsin, Arizona, and New Mexico to identify an unidentified female, found outside Westby, WI in 1984. New evidence, as the result of pollen testing, suggests the victim is mostly likely from Arizona or New Mexico.


On May 4, 1984, the body of an unidentified female was found outside of Westby, WI, in Vernon County.  The victim’s cause of death was ruled as severe head trauma.  Both hands were severed at the wrist and haven’t been located.  The victim wasn’t murdered in the location where the body was found and there was no attempt to hide the body.  For the past 34 years, attempts to identify the victim have been unsuccessful.  The victim was wearing a plaid three-quarter length coat, brown and tan, black turquoise color with checkered pattern with a lining on the purple coat.  The victim was also wearing a dress with a light blue turtle neck top; the dress has a black background with a large paisley pattern, which is blue and white.  Victim was wearing nylons rolled just above the knees, a tan slip and brown shoes size 8 ½ B. 


The victim had full dentures with raised numbers inscribed in the dentures, ‘p85’ or ‘p8s’. The dentures also had the numbers inscribed of 289 or 682.  The other number inscribed is either 420 or 4-20. A yellow two door compact vehicle was also seen in the vicinity where the victim’s body was located. 


The victim is described as a white female, approximate age of 50-63 years old at death in 1984, with brown graying hair, blue eyes, height 5’5” and weighing approximately 150 pounds. The victim also had an approximately a 4 inch abdominal surgical scar. 

Recently all of the clothing found with the victim was submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Chicago for pollen testing.  The pollen profile suggests the victim is most likely from an urban area in the Semi-Arid Highlands or lowest elevation zone of the Temperate Sierra found in the states of Arizona or New Mexico.


In the past, pollen testing has been successfully used to solve another high-profile homicide investigation.  On June 25, 2015 the body of a young female was found on the shoreline of Deer Island in Boston, Massachusetts.  This was previously known as the “Deer Island Baby Doe” or “Baby Doe” case.  There was speculation the body of “Baby Doe” may have washed ashore from Canada.  After pollen testing was completed, it was determined the child was from the Boston area, which assisted law enforcement to target the Boston area to seek her identification.  On September 18, 2015 the child was identified as Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond.


Images, including an artist’s sketch of the unidentified female and clothing found with the victim, can be viewed here: https://widoj.sharefile.com/d-s0b9aa2aa9bc4fa0b


Anyone with information about the unidentified female found in Westby in 1984 should contact: (A copy of the original release is attached below)


Vernon County Sheriff’s Office- Lieutenant Scott Bjerkos at (608) 637-2124


Wisconsin Department of Justice- DCI- Special Agent Joe Welsch at (715) 839-3830




John B. Spears


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