League City police say two women who were found dead decades ago in the infamous “Killing Fields” have been identified.
Police say the original investigations into these deaths failed to identify the remains of Jane Doe and Janet Doe or determine a suspect.
New renderings created late last year were based on Snapshot DNA Phenotyping. The images gave detectives insight into a victim’s features as well as genealogy.
League City Police detectives say they have now identified Jane and Janet Doe and are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths. The women’s names have not yet been released publicly.
“There’s a reason this is called ‘The Killing Fields,’ there’s a reason,” said Tim Miller, the founder and director of Texas EquuSearch.
Miller started the organization after his daughter Laura was found dead in the same field in 1986.
“Laura was found right there and no grass has ever grown in that spot. No grass has ever grown where Laura’s body was found,” Miller said.
Laura, who was 16 at the time, was found on Feb. 2, 1986, just 17 months after she went missing from a nearby corner store. Investigators also found Jane Doe, the same day, laying nearby.
It’s the same field, on Calder Road near I-45 in League City, where Heidi Fye was found two years earlier. For Miller, the thick brush became ground zero for his search to find their killer.
“I would come out here at 2 a.m. I would come out here at noon. I don’t think there’s an hour or a minute in the day at some time or another that I wasn’t here. I wanted to see who was coming in and out. I was obsessed with this place,” Miller said.
On Sep. 8, 1991, investigators found a fourth body in the same area, another unnamed woman they dubbed Janet Doe.
“These girls deserve their names, they deserve their faces back,” said Kathryn Casey.
The Houston-area author profiled the murders as part of her true crime book, Deliver Us.
“I’m glad that they have their names now. That they’re going to have their own picture and not a composite that was made off their skulls, that they’re going to have a grave, that their siblings know what happened to their sisters, that their parents know what happened to their daughters,” Casey said.
She’s been following the cases since the 80s and conducted dozens of interviews as part of her research.
“It’s not only that these girls have been identified, but knowing who they are might actually aid the investigation to help find their killer or killers,” said Casey.
Miller says this is the break, the lead they’ve always needed to find justice.
“I’m certainly hopeful this breaking news on who they are will move the investigation forward, that way we can go ahead and get the person that’s responsible.”
Earlier, police told ABC13 Eyewitness News that Jane Doe likely has ties to Tennessee. She was about 22-30 years old, 5’5″ to 5’8″ in height, and she may have died six weeks to six months before the remains were found. She also may have had fair to very fair skin, blue or green eyes, blonde/brown hair, and no or few freckles.
Janet Doe was believed to have ties to Louisiana. The analysis shows she was 24-34 years old, 5′ to 5’3″ in height, and weighed 100-130 pounds. Police believe she died six weeks before being found. She also appeared to have injuries to her upper spine that may have led to her death.
Thirty bodies have been found in the so-called “Killing Fields” since the 1970s. Some murders have been solved and linked to serial killers. Others, including those of Laura Miller, Heidi Fye, Janet Doe and Jane Doe, remain open.