MS DELTA DAWN: WF, 1-2, found in river near Moss Point / Escatawpa, MS - 5 Dec 1982 *ALISHA ANN HEINRICH*

1607109900029.png
1580621670654.png 1580621758318.png

On December 5, 1982 the body of an unidentified child was found in thick brush along the Escatawpa River, beneath the Westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Jackson County, MS. The body was that of a white female, approximately 18 months old. She had been deceased less than two days before being found. The child was approximately 2’5" tall and weighed around 25 pounds. Her eye color was indecipherable but was possibly brown or blue. Her hair color was strawberry blonde. The child was found wearing a pink and white checkered "Cradle Togs" dress or shirt and a disposable diaper. She had 12 teeth and appeared to have been well-nourished and cared for. Witnesses recall seeing a young adult female, carrying a baby walking along the Interstate a few nights prior to when her body was found. Authorities believe the baby seen by witnesses could be this unidentified child. The adult female has never been located or identified. The image above is a facial reconstruction completed by a NCMEC Forensic Artist and depicts what the child may have looked like in life.

NCMEC -

Date of Discovery: December 5, 1982
Location of Discovery: Escatawpa, Jackson County, Mississippi
Estimated Date of Death: 36-48 hours prior
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Homicide by forced drowning

Estimated Age: 1-2 years old
Race: White
Sex: Female
Height: 2'5" to 2'6
Weight: 20 to 25 lbs.
Hair Color: Strawberry blond
Eye Color: Unknown, possibly brown or blue.
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown

Dentals: Not available. 12 baby teeth had grown in at the time of her death.
Fingerprints: Unknown (sources differ)
DNA: Available.

Clothing: Cradle Togs pink and white dress which buttoned in the back and a disposable diaper. Some reports state that she was wearing a red and white checkered dress or shirt.

Circumstances of Discovery
The child's body was located in the Dog River beneath the westbound lane of I-10 in Pascagoula. She was apparently thrown off the Interstate 10 bridge. Her body was found when a truck driver reported a body of an adult wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans floating in the river. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office believes the body is the mother of the child found floating in the river. Detectives said the theory is based on the fact that a woman, who was obviously distressed and carrying a child, was seen walking on Interstate-10 on the previous Friday night. This is further confirmed by a Moss Point woman who was monitoring CB conversations that night. She said "truckers were 'raising-a-boat-load-of-Hell' between midnight Friday and 1 AM. Saturday because a woman and child were walking on the interstate and refused to let anyone help her."

Authorities said a woman wearing a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans and carrying a child was seen near the scales at the Alabama line walking west on the interstate. She was reported walking in the westbound lane. A man who saw the woman said a pickup truck stopped but she refused to get into the truck.

Authorities speculate the woman may have thrown the child into the water and then jumped. The baby still had a breath of life because she had sucked in some of the murky water into her lungs.

The body of the woman was never recovered nor has she been identified.

The unidentified toddler is buried in Jackson County Memorial Park. Deputy Moore and his wife stepped forward and made sure the little girl was given a proper funeral and burial in 1982. 200 people attended the young girl's funeral.

Doe Network -
 
Last edited:

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I don't think she was EVER reported missing. At least not by family / friends.
Alisha was identified using genetic / familial DNA. "Candidate family members were identified and confirmed through additional DNA testing."
Seems like once they got the tentative identification results back via DNA for Alisha, they were able to identify her family, and therefore her mother. Who was also determined to be "missing".
That's sad or sure makes one wonder. I can't fathom if one at least has parents or siblings that someone would not wonder where they are if they have not seen them, at least in some time.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Jackson Co. Sheriff Mike Ezell, said, “The family advised they never heard from Gwen again. During the investigation, investigators learned the male friend is now deceased. Investigators learned the three of them were supposed to travel to Florida to start a new life.”

Clemons is still missing and authorities are asking for anyone with information to contact the Jackson County, MS Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say they have identified a suspect, however he is deceased.


Sheriff Mike Ezell said Gwendolyn was last seen by her family on Thanksgiving 1982 in Joplin, Missouri. The young mother, baby Alisha, and an unidentified man left the state together, reportedly traveling to Florida to start a new life, according to the family.

They were never seen again. Less than two weeks later, the toddler’s body was found in the Escatawpa River.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Jackson Co. Sheriff Mike Ezell, said, “The family advised they never heard from Gwen again. During the investigation, investigators learned the male friend is now deceased. Investigators learned the three of them were supposed to travel to Florida to start a new life.”

Clemons is still missing and authorities are asking for anyone with information to contact the Jackson County, MS Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say they have identified a suspect, however he is deceased.


Sheriff Mike Ezell said Gwendolyn was last seen by her family on Thanksgiving 1982 in Joplin, Missouri. The young mother, baby Alisha, and an unidentified man left the state together, reportedly traveling to Florida to start a new life, according to the family.

They were never seen again. Less than two weeks later, the toddler’s body was found in the Escatawpa River.
It is interesting that they do refer to him as a suspect...
 

Mel70

Blank
Witnesses had seen a woman walking with a baby. Now with this, I wonder what they will find out about the mother and whether someone killed her... Or was reported missing as you say. Or if she possibly killed herself (and has not been found) and the child... Was the child even reported missing?
I don't get the feeling that the mother killed this child and then disappeared. Yes. The Mother was reported missing.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I don't get the feeling that the mother killed this child and then disappeared. Yes. The Mother was reported missing.
Yeah, this one bothers me too. It doesn't feel right for some reason. For one thing, the baby was found and she, being a far large body, was not. Someone reported seeing a body but even that just sits wrong with me...

Since this child was unidentified, doesn't it seem as if that must mean the man with them never said anything...? Or reported them missing nor showed any concern...
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
It is interesting that they do refer to him as a suspect...
I caught that, too.

But someone witnessed her and the child and they didn't say anything about a third person. Maybe he was abusing her and she thought that was the only way out? I'd sure like to know more about this "suspect" that passed away. Did he have a history of domestic violence?
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I caught that, too.

But someone witnessed her and the child and they didn't say anything about a third person. Maybe he was abusing her and she thought that was the only way out? I'd sure like to know more about this "suspect" that passed away. Did he have a history of domestic violence?
I don't know why it doesn't sit right with me, I can't put my finger on it. It would appear it was just she and the child. She refused help from truckers and such... Could the man she was with have been either in the shadows any time someone stopped to help or he caught up with her...? I was going to try to let it go until they referred to him as a suspect... The other thing that really bothers is that she was not found...

Even though he is no longer alive, they have not named him. I wonder why... It sure could be abuse or dv as well but wow why not take the help offered to get out of there and to a police station where someone could get them home or something... I get that if she did this she was not in a place in her mind where she was thinking that way though... He never reports them missing though...? A baby girl is found and he says nothing to help identify her or that it could be her...? I guess things just don't add up yet for me.

I even had the far out thought that he was abusive and she killed him and took off...
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
I don't know why it doesn't sit right with me, I can't put my finger on it. It would appear it was just she and the child. She refused help from truckers and such... Could the man she was with have been either in the shadows any time someone stopped to help or he caught up with her...? I was going to try to let it go until they referred to him as a suspect... The other thing that really bothers is that she was not found...

Even though he is no longer alive, they have not named him. I wonder why... It sure could be abuse or dv as well but wow why not take the help offered to get out of there and to a police station where someone could get them home or something... I get that if she did this she was not in a place in her mind where she was thinking that way though... He never reports them missing though...? A baby girl is found and he says nothing to help identify her or that it could be her...? I guess things just don't add up yet for me.

I even had the far out thought that he was abusive and she killed him and took off...
I'm not surprised they didn't find her. The reason is because we had a discussion about this when I was at Citizens Academy and the dive team was doing one of the classes. They said sometimes they don't recover remains in the rivers. There was a case where a woman was murdered by her husband and thrown in the river and people saw her body float to the top and by the time the dive team got there, her body had broke free and went down the river and they never did find her. I remember the case from the other place, but I don't think we revived it when we started our new forum.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I'm not surprised they didn't find her. The reason is because we had a discussion about this when I was at Citizens Academy and the dive team was doing one of the classes. They said sometimes they don't recover remains in the rivers. There was a case where a woman was murdered by her husband and thrown in the river and people saw her body float to the top and by the time the dive team got there, her body had broke free and went down the river and they never did find her. I remember the case from the other place, but I don't think we revived it when we started our new forum.
I know it happens no doubt. It's just that in this case we have the baby as well and without her found, even though what happened seems obvious and the mother did it, it's a bit harder to accept as certainty I think.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
This is from Wiki and is recent. The last three paragraphs are particularly interesting... And the last one very much so...

"On December 4, 2020, Jackson County Sheriff's Office announced the identification of Delta Dawn as 18-month-old Alisha Ann Heinrich of Joplin, Missouri. Her identity was confirmed via DNA sequencing and genetic genealogy,[22][1] with the child's DNA linked to family members in Missouri, where her mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, had previously lived. The circumstances surrounding Alisha's death, and the simultaneous disappearance of her mother, remain under investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's department.[3] The process of generating a profile suitable for uploading into a public genealogy database was performed by a lab operated by Othram; the research was conducted by forensic genealogists under Redgrave Research Forensic Services.[14]

Gwendolyn Clemons had recently divorced from the father of her daughter. She, her daughter, and an unnamed boyfriend had reportedly disappeared "on or around" November 24, 1982, from the family's residence in Kansas City, Missouri.[4][5] The intent of their departure was to relocate to the state of Florida, with Clemons informing her relatives of her intentions to start life afresh in this state.[23] The man later returned to Missouri alone. This individual—now deceased—has been described as both a "person of interest" and a suspect in various media reports.[24][22]

Investigators remain uncertain as to Clemons' ultimate fate. At a press conference held on December 4, 2020, Sheriff Mike Ezell informed reporters: "We do not know if she is dead or alive at this point. We're assuming the worst, but we don't know that for sure."[22]

Prior to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department's formal announcement of the identity of Delta Dawn as Alisha Ann Heinrich, the previously unknown woman accompanying the child upon the eastbound Interstate 10 bridge was theorized to have been responsible for her death in a suspected murder-suicide, although this theory is now in doubt.[6]"

 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
This is from Wiki and is recent. The last three paragraphs are particularly interesting... And the last one very much so...

"On December 4, 2020, Jackson County Sheriff's Office announced the identification of Delta Dawn as 18-month-old Alisha Ann Heinrich of Joplin, Missouri. Her identity was confirmed via DNA sequencing and genetic genealogy,[22][1] with the child's DNA linked to family members in Missouri, where her mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, had previously lived. The circumstances surrounding Alisha's death, and the simultaneous disappearance of her mother, remain under investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's department.[3] The process of generating a profile suitable for uploading into a public genealogy database was performed by a lab operated by Othram; the research was conducted by forensic genealogists under Redgrave Research Forensic Services.[14]

Gwendolyn Clemons had recently divorced from the father of her daughter. She, her daughter, and an unnamed boyfriend had reportedly disappeared "on or around" November 24, 1982, from the family's residence in Kansas City, Missouri.[4][5] The intent of their departure was to relocate to the state of Florida, with Clemons informing her relatives of her intentions to start life afresh in this state.[23] The man later returned to Missouri alone. This individual—now deceased—has been described as both a "person of interest" and a suspect in various media reports.[24][22]

Investigators remain uncertain as to Clemons' ultimate fate. At a press conference held on December 4, 2020, Sheriff Mike Ezell informed reporters: "We do not know if she is dead or alive at this point. We're assuming the worst, but we don't know that for sure."[22]

Prior to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department's formal announcement of the identity of Delta Dawn as Alisha Ann Heinrich, the previously unknown woman accompanying the child upon the eastbound Interstate 10 bridge was theorized to have been responsible for her death in a suspected murder-suicide, although this theory is now in doubt.[6]"

Oh wow! Who writes on wiki?
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Oh wow! Who writes on wiki?
Lol, I don't know. I am not a fan of the site but was searching and came upon this... It is interesting he ended up back in Missouri alone. Did no one/her family, etc. ever question him?

The other thing that kind of bugs me is earlier on here, it did say someone said someone in a pickup tried to get her and the child in the vehicle and she refused, it did not give a lot of detail but since it was not a semi I wondered if it could not have been the bf... I guess it could have been anyone but... Most people saw her walking but not on the bridge the way I understand it...
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
Lol, I don't know. I am not a fan of the site but was searching and came upon this... It is interesting he ended up back in Missouri alone. Did no one/her family, etc. ever question him?

The other thing that kind of bugs me is earlier on here, it did say someone said someone in a pickup tried to get her and the child in the vehicle and she refused, it did not give a lot of detail but since it was not a semi I wondered if it could not have been the bf... I guess it could have been anyone but... Most people saw her walking but not on the bridge the way I understand it...
I'd really like to know if the BF made that report. It would be highly unusual if he was guilty of her death, but I've seen stranger things happen.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I'd really like to know if the BF made that report. It would be highly unusual if he was guilty of her death, but I've seen stranger things happen.
I know I am getting like a dog with a bone with this one but I just don't get it. She was seen if it was her on two different roads and in different areas... To me, it sounds like escaping someone or leaving someone. How far did she walk just to go to a bridge... With her child in her arms... In fact, the bf could have kicked them out of a vehicle to begin with or she fled the vehicle... She was in acute distress but why...? Maybe the bf tried to smother the child and she managed to grab her and flee...

I just don't like it. It seems highly unusual. Not to mention was she even familiar with where she was and where there would be a bridge? They were likely traveling yet as they were allegedly headed for Florida...
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Oh wow! Who writes on wiki?
Anyone can write on Wikipedia. BUT anything that is written has to be backed up with source material or it will be deleted. That’s why you see the little numbers in brackets. If you click on the number, it will take you to the source of that information.

For example, I could go on this Wiki page and add, “She was later seen alive in Florida.” But without a source or anything to back that up, it would get deleted.
 
Last edited:

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
I honestly don’t think there’s much point in speculation on this one. I could come up with 20 possible theories, but they don’t at all matter. If this “suspect” harmed her/them, he’s now dead. If she was running from him or having a mental health crisis and murder-suicided, they’re both dead.

The only real “open” thing left is the disappearance of the mother. And I think it’s very likely she went into the river.

I think detectives probably know a bit more than they’re putting out publicly.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I honestly don’t think there’s much point in speculation on this one. I could come up with 20 possible theories, but they don’t at all matter. If this “suspect” harmed her/them, he’s now dead. If she was running from him or having a mental health crisis and murder-suicided, they’re both dead.

The only real “open” thing left is the disappearance of the mother. And I think it’s very likely she went into the river.

I think detectives probably know a bit more than they’re putting out publicly.
That's definitely all true. So long as they are still looking into it though, which it sure sounds like they are, I am going to take a wait and see if we find out more. It's entirely possible it may end up being one of those where the answers are never 100% known and have to be chalked up to that.

Also hoping for a few more details like what age he was when he died and what from, what he told people if anything. I mean some of those details must be known.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Here is another one that outright states he is a suspect. I wonder if authorities did not know something from the night truckers, etc. saw her and the child and kept it close to the vest with no identification of the child or location of the mother... Like that a man or this bf was present or after them or if someone saw something occur at the bridge...? Otherwise they have found something out now upon identification that makes them think the mother did not do this but that he may have...?

"The suspect in the case is the former boyfriend of the toddler's mom, who is also deceased."

 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

New grave marker for 'Delta Dawn,' a baby found dead in river in 1982​

It's taken nearly 40 years, but a baby found dead in coastal Mississippi now has a brand new headstone with her name on it.

"This case was solved and powered with so much love by Pascagoula and everyone involved and it's amazing to see," said McCarter. "It is really bitter sweet. I'm used to working on cases and they don't have any family anymore. Nobody really cares about them, but it's the complete opposite with Alisha. She's got family in Pascagoula who's always been her family then she's got her real family."

This case isn't over. It's still a mystery how Alisha died. Her mother, Gwendolyn Clemons, also went missing in 1982 and has never been found.

1626466063605.png
 

Forum statistics

Threads
2,154
Messages
89,661
Members
462
Latest member
LookingforSabrina
Top