AZ APACHE JUNCTION JANE DOE: F, 16-18, found south of Hwy 60 in Apache Junction, AZ - 6 Aug 1992 *MELODY HARRISON*



On August 6, 1992, the body of an unidentified female was located in a desert area near the northwest corner of Idaho and Baseline Roads, south of US Highway 60 in Apache Junction, Arizona (Pinal County). It is believed the Jane Doe had been deceased for approximately 3 to 5 weeks prior to recovery. She is believed to have been between 16 and 18 years of age and was approximately 5'1". Her race is unknown however her brown hair is microscopically similar to head hairs from known Admixed AmerIndians.

She was found wearing a pair of blue denim cut-off short pants ("Levis" brand) and a light colored pullover short-sleeved t-shirt with soccer balls on the front and back ("Team Gear" brand, size Large). A Phoenix Transit System token inscribed with the words "Valid for one student fare" was located in her left front pants pocket. A round piece of paper the size of a penny was found in her left front pants pocket. The paper had a figure of Abraham Lincoln on one side and the Lincoln Memorial on the other side, both in green ink. The Jane Doe was also found wearing a yellow metal ring with a nugget design on her left ring finger.

She had no obvious dental care and her teeth were described as "protruding". The featured reconstruction is an artist's rendering of what the Jane Doe may have looked like. The additional photos have been enhanced to aid in visual identification and may not reflect the original case file images.

Anyone with information should contact the Apache Junction Police Department, reference case number 92-3057 or the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, reference case number ML92-0955.

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DNA Doe Project Status
Research in progress. The Apache Junction Police Department received a grant of $500 to help fund DDP expenses.

NamUs Rule-Outs

Terry Slaugenhoupt, PA, 1991
Brandy Myers, AZ, 1992

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Apache Junction Jane Doe was a young woman found deceased in 1992.

It was announced that her DNA was successfully sequenced by the DNA Doe Project.

On February 13, 2020, the DNA Doe Project announced on their twitter that she might have substantial ties to the following areas:
  • Virginia: Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties
  • Southwestern United States: Southern California, Pima County in Arizona and Bexar County in Texas.
  • Mexico: Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Jalisco and Baja California Peninsula.
A list of last names that have been associated with the Jane Doe can be found on this Facebook post. DNA testing done by the DNA Doe Project disputed speculation that she may have had Native American or White ancestry, as it showed that the victim was biracial: having a parent of Mexican descent, and a parent of Black descent, having ties to Virginia.

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Apache Junction Jane Doe 1992 has been put into Gedmatch by the DNA Doe Project. As of February 22, 2021, she has over 2,000 DNA matches. Her highest DNA match is 183.9 cMs - this is the 2nd counsel once removed, half 1st cousin once removed, etc range. Not a substantially close match. She is on the spreadsheet in Google Drive:

Jane Doe identified in 30-year-old Apache Junction cold case​

A 30-year mystery about the identity of an Apache Junction Jane Doe case has come to a close thanks to the determined effort of investigators and DNA genetic genealogy techniques.

Fifteen-year-old Melody Harrison was reported missing from Phoenix in June of 1992. Her remains were found in a remote desert area of Apache Junction on the northwest corner of Idaho Road and Baseline Road on Aug. 6, 1992. The discovery sparked a thorough forensic investigation to try and identify her that lasted for three decades.

At the time she went missing, Harrison’s family filed the initial missing person report through the Phoenix Police Department. However, possible sightings of her by people telling the family they had seen Melody in multiple locations led them to believe she had started a new life and did not want to go home. She was removed from the missing person’s database in August 1996. Her family thought she was still alive and had no clue her unidentified remains were located four years earlier.


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