Identity Of Victim Remains Mystery
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Authorities have reopened an investigation to find out who lies in an Arizona grave now that the young woman they believed to be the Jane Doe has turned up alive and well.
The body of a young woman found near a Flagstaff truckstop in 1982 was identified by investigators as Melody Cutlip based on a reconstruction of the victim’s facial feature from skeletal remains.
But last summer, Ms. Cutlip, a runaway, was reunited with her family in Jacksonville.
So, Arizona authorities are back to square one in trying to put a name to the teen-ager who was last seen alive Feb. 3, 1982, at the Monte Carlo Truck Stop.
Patty Wilkins, waitress and part-owner, vividly remembers her.
″She was a blonde, a pretty girl. I assumed she was about 16 or 17 years old,″ said Ms. Wilkins, who said the teen came in with a trucker about 3 a.m.
″We’ve been in this little truck stop for 17 years and as a rule when a girl comes in off a truck and looks too young, we pull her off, the sheriff’s office comes along and they send her home.″
But that night, Ms. Wilkins said the trucker with the teen was concerned about her teeth and she thought he must be a relative.
An hour later, the trucker and the girl left.
Her body was found 11 days later, not far away.
Lt. Jack Judd of the Cococino County Sheriff’s Office went through some 5,000 missing person reports trying to determine who she was.
Since the girl’s body was found on Valentine’s Day, she was buried under the name of Sally Valentine in Williams, Ariz., about 14 miles from the truck stop.
In 1984, Judd came to Melody Cutlip’s name. He was unable to get dental records for Melody, so he had an expert in photographic enhancement work from the victim’s skull to reconstruct what she looked like.
It matched Ms. Cutlip’s appearance. Judd closed the case and notified her mother in Florida. But the mother declined the body, refusing to believe it was that of her daughter.
Ms. Wilkins paid $168 for Sally’s grave.