PA BETH DOE & UNBORN CHILD: WF, 15-25, found in White Haven, PA - 20 December 1976

The Coffeenator

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enhanced image of blanket

Artistic renderings of the victim by NCMEC, Carl Koppelman and Frank Bender. Suitcases and blanket the victim's remains were placed in. Facial features such as the nose and the hair style are an artist's estimation to complete the image.

Date of Discovery: December 20, 1976
Location of Discovery: White Haven or East Side Borough, Carbon County, Pennsylvania
Estimated Date of Death: Less than 24 hours
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Homicide - Strangled and shot in the neck

Physical Description
Estimated Age: 15-25 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 4'11" to 5'4"
Weight: 140-150 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: She had a 5.5" scar on her left leg, just above the heel and a 2-inch scar on her left calf. She had a small circular mole above her left eye and a mole on her left cheek. She was carrying a full-term White female fetus. It is possible that the moles on her face developed at some time during her pregnancy. Blood type O.

Dentals: Available. she had suffered extensive dental disease resulting in three extractions, multiple restorations, and extensive decay. Her oral hygiene improved as she got older but at the time of her death she was still suffering from tooth decay and a fracture to her upper right lateral incisors that would have caused her serious pain and been noticeable to others.
Fingerprints: Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: Unknown
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Discovery
On December 20, 1976, the dismembered remains of the victim were found in three suitcases along the Lehigh River (Carbon/Luzerne County Line) under a bridge of westbound Interstate Route 80 near Exit 273. The suitcases appeared to have been thrown from the Interstate bridge.

She had been strangled, then shot in the neck and then dismembered with a fine, serrated tool. Her killer had removed her nose, ears, and breasts.

There were letters and numbers written on her left hand in ink (color of ink unknown). While there were different interpretations of what was actually written on the hand, almost definitely was "WSR". Next to that was either a 4 or a 5. Below and to the right was either a 4 or 7. Police checked license plates and CB call signs but were unable to determine the significance of the notations. The ink would probably have lasted 8-12 hours.

The three suitcases the remains were found in were all the same size (23" x 14" x 7 1/2"). Two of them were blue in color, one was blue and tan plaid. The handles had been cut off of the suitcases before they were dropped at the site and the zippers had been painted with flat black paint.

Inside the suitcases, the police also found straw, dry packing foam, a cut up chenille bedspread and six sections of the New York Sunday News dated September 26, 1976. The bedspread was most likely originally pink in color, however, the worn and dirty condition made it appear more rust or coral colored. The bedspread had an embroidered yellow flower design.

Advanced forensic testing of her bones suggest that the female was possibly born in Western to Central Europe and likely migrated to the USA five to ten years prior to her death in her early childhood to teenage years.

She is known as Beth Doe.

Investigating Agency(s)
Agency Name: Carbon County Coroner's Office
Agency Contact Person: Thomas McAndrew
Agency Phone Number: 570-669-9898
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N03-027244

Agency Name: Pennsylvania State Police
Agency Contact Person: Thomas McAndrew
Agency Phone Number: 570-459-3890
Agency E-Mail: thmcandrew(at)
Agency Case Number: N/A

NCIC Case Number: U833004226
NamUs Case Number: 8913
NCMEC Case Number: 1104191

Information Source(s)
Pennsylvania Missing Persons
Wikipedia: Beth Doe
Beth Doe on YouTube - created by Theresa Golden

Admin Notes
Added: 7/22/00; Last Updated: 1/24/18

Unidentified Person / NamUs #UP8913
Female, White / Caucasian
Date Body Found December 20, 1976
Location Found East Side Borough, Pennsylvania
Estimated Age Range 15-25 Years

Case Information

Case Numbers
NCMEC Number--
ME/C Case Number N03-027244

Sex Female
Race / Ethnicity White / Caucasian
Possible First Name --
Possible Middle Name--
Possible Last Name--
Possible Nickname--
Estimated Age Group Adult - Pre 30
Estimated Age Range (Years) 15-25
Estimated Year of Death 1976
Estimated PMI 7 Days
Height 5' 2"(62 inches) , Estimated
Weight 150 lbs, Estimated

Type Unidentified Deceased
Date Body Found December 20, 1976
NamUs Case Created July 11, 2011
ME/C QA Reviewed July 12, 2011

Location Found Map
Location East Side Borough, Pennsylvania 18661
County Carbon County
GPS Coordinates (Not Mapped) N41 03' 20 75.06/W75 46' 12.68
Circumstances of Recovery Victim was dismembered and placed in three suitcase. Suitcases were discarded next to Lehigh River (Carbon/Luzerne County Line). Suitcase throw from SR0080 (Interstate 80) Westbound Lane. Exit 273. Height Suggestion of 4'11-5'4 estimated.
Details of Recovery

Inventory of Remains--
Condition of Remains Recognizable face
Physical Description
Hair Color Brown
Head Hair Description--
Body Hair Description--
Facial Hair Description--
Left Eye Color Brown
Right Eye Color Brown
Eye Description--
Distinctive Physical Features
2 inch scar on left calf.

Other distinctive physical characteristic
Mole on left cheek.

Clothing and Accessories
No Information Entered
  • Case Photo
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Trained Troublemaker
Just reading this one. How sad. A full term baby too. I wonder if they took DNA from the baby? A likely killer would be the father, just statistically.

Why mutilate her the way they did, and write numbers... There appears to be so much here, distinctive suitcases, blanket, etc. Who and why would you paint the zippers on suitcases? And who has three the same size? DNA in the cases or on the blanket?

It sounds like she may have been a victim of abuse or neglect as a child. Poor dental care, not that that is a total indication, it could just be due to poverty, but also scars on legs...

One thing that always surprises me in many of these unidentified cases is that they can't determine a closer age. This one is only a spread of ten years but many of them are far wider than that. I guess with all of the scientific advances it just surprises me they do not have a way of being closer on age, sometimes they do not even know race.

So the body was apparently thrown from the interstate. I would take that to mean she was disposed of nowhere near where she was from or where she was killed, making it more difficult, she could be from anywhere, as could her killer. NY Sunday News for a newpaper though... That gives right there a date it could not be earlier than...

I just happened into this thread by seeing her picture and clicking on it. I have to say though, it strikes me on reading it enough to comment because it is very odd. She was cut up with a fine serrated tool, that almost sounds like someone familiar with doing such a thing, ritualistic, or serial killer-ish... Or expert at such things in a profession... Someone had TIME and a place to do all of this to her... And then time to dispose of her, pack her, etc... Are there any similar cases?

It doesn't seem to say and I don't want to know how the baby died...

Sigh, I am no case solver but just seems like the things present in this one would help the experts solve it...

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