Jewelry Could Lead To Break In Case

Angola 'Jane Doe' Makes Blip On Nancy Grace's Radar

By Valerie Caviglia

Credit: Indiana State Police

Police believe a body found in a farmer's field was that of a middle-aged woman.

  • Click to enlarge

    Investigators say a silver and turquoise ring found with the body may be unique and provide clues.

    (Indiana State Police)

3 photos

August 15, 2010 Updated Aug 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM EDT

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - It will have been eleven years this September since Maurice "Gene" Headley found a decomposing body among his bean and corn crops just outside Angola.

The Indiana farmer has since passed away, his former crop fields now home to a golf course and driving range. But the body he found that day in 1999 is still an unidentified Jane Doe.

Nancy Grace's Cold Cases has again put the investigation in the spotlight in recent weeks. The case is now focused on a watch and ring found on the woman's remains, as well as a tattoo that could have some cultural significance.

"Between the animals and the bug activity, the only thing that was left was bones, except for a piece of skin on a shoulder blade,'' said Detective Harry Nix of the Indiana State Police. A tattoo of a Pachuco cross was visible on the skin, which had three rays coming out of the upper part.

The Pachuco cross is popular in Hispanic cultures, Nix said. Earrings were also found nearby as well as a sterling silver ring with a turquoise stone on her finger.

Based on the size of the pelvic bone, pathologists could tell the body was that of a woman, believed to be white or Hispanic, 40 to 50 years old and approximately 5 feet, 4 inches tall.

Police suspected the woman had been strangled, but the body was so decomposed that the cause of death could not be proven beyond a doubt.

Nix took the ring to an American Southwest jewelry expert, who said it was probably 20 years old and possibly one of a kind. Efforts to find the person who made the ring over the Internet have not been successful.

Nix said investigators cannot say for sure where the victim was killed.

"We tend to think she was dropped there,'' he said.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at 260-415-3875 or 260-432-8661.

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