KY FRANKLYN JANE DOE: WF, 25-35, found off I-65 in Franklyn, KY - 9 Oct 2001 - Rose tattoo *DAWN WILKERSON*


111UFKY - Unidentified Female
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Reconstruction of the victim (Dr. Emily Craig); Victim's rings and tattoo.

Date of Discovery: October 9, 2001
Location of Discovery: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky
Estimated Date of Death: 2 to 8 weeks prior
State of Remains: Not recognizable - Near complete or complete skeleton
Cause of Death: Homicide

Physical Description
Estimated Age: 25-35 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'4" to 5'9"
Weight: 90-130 lbs.
Hair Color: Light reddish-brown to reddish-blond hair, 12-14 inches long.
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: She had a healed fracture of the upper right arm, near the shoulder and her rib. Outline tattoo of a rose on the left breast. Prior pregnancies; she may have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance. Scar on her face and right wrist.

Dentals: Available. Many missing or severely decayed teeth. Poor/negligent dental health
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: White or tan shirt, blue cotton shorts, and black sandals.
Jewelry: Two rings were found on ground near the body. One was a gold band, similar to a wide wedding band; the other was sterling silver in a guilloche cigar band style, with a painted blue enamel background with flowers and leaves (see images). The silver ring was made by the Vargas Manufacturing Company in Providence, Rhode Island (hallmarked "STERLING" and "V" inside a diamond shape). This ring was most likely made during the 1950s and 1960s, but no later than the 1970s.
Additional Personal Items: None

Circumstances of Discovery
The victim's partially skeletonized remains were found by a survey crew on the shoulder of the northbound lane near the 12-mile marker in Simpson County, alongside Interstate 65, just north of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. It was some distance from the travel portion of the roadway on a downward slope.

Investigating Agency(s)
Agency Name: Simpson County Coroner's Office
Agency Contact Person: Amy Burrows-Beckham
Agency Phone Number: 270-586-7118
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: FA-2001-44

Agency Name: Kentucky State Police, Post 3 - Bowling Green
Agency Contact Person: Detective Tim Adams
Agency Phone Number: (270) 782-2010
Agency E-Mail: timothy.adams(at)
Agency Case Number: 3-01491

NCIC Case Number: U450002388
NamUs Case Number: 71

Information Source(s)
Kentucky State Police
Bowling Green Daily News (3/7/11)
Still They Speak
Portland Leader (3/24/11)
Costume Jewelry Designers & Manufacturers Reference Information and History

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October 9, 2001 a survey crew found the partially skeletonized remains of a white woman some distance off the shoulder of the northbound lane of Interstate 65 about 12 miles north of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line just north of Nashville, TN. It was determined the woman had died 2-8 weeks prior to discovery. She was 25-35 years old and was 5’6″ tall. She had long (12-14 inches), wavy light reddish-brown to reddish-blond hair. The woman had several missing or severely decayed teeth, the result of poor dental health. She had a healed fracture of the upper right arm, near her shoulder. She also had a healed broken rib. On her left breast was an outline from a rose tattoo. She may have had prior pregnancies and actually may have been pregnant at the time of her death. She had a scar on her face and right wrist. She was wearing a white or tan shirt, blue cotton shorts, and black sandals. On the ground near the body two rings were found–one a gold band, similar to a wide wedding ring.

Subsequent Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA) conducted on the remains revealed the woman spent significant time during adolescence in the Great Lakes or New England region of the US. Further SIA analysis determined that closer to her death she may have spent time in mid-West or mid-Atlantic regions.

DNA Doe Project Status
Research in progress


Well-known member
Franklyn Jane Doe 2001 (Kentucky Jane Doe) was added to Gedmatch by the DNA Doe Project. As of February 22, 2021, she has 600 DNA matches. Her highest match is 41.4 cM - this is not a substantial match. She is on the Google Drive spreadsheet at:


Staff member

KSP identifies remains found in 2001​

Through years of investigation and the assistance of the DNA Doe Project, KSP has identified the victim as Dawn Clare Plonsky Wilkerson, 45, of Nashville, Tenn.



aka Grandma Kim 💕
Staff member
I have so many unanswered questions! A few years back I tried to figure out who this could be. Dawn Wilkerson's name did not come up, I don't think. I know a Wilkerson and I think I would have associated the name with the person I knew, if I had.


Staff member
DNA Doe Project worked for around two years to attempt to find the name for the remains.

Missy Koski, the case manager for Wilkerson’s file with the DNA Doe Project, said the moment they found the name for their Jane Doe, it was an incredible feeling.

“I think what keeps us going is thinking maybe there’s a mom out there missing their son or daughter or there’s a child out there missing, you know, their mom and dad. And when you finally find that it’s just a feeling you can’t describe because you’re so sad to know about the person because now you see your name now you see the reality it’s not just a case or a case number,” said Koski.

According to Koski, the identification came after the team was able to find a DNA match from a 3rd cousin once removed from one parents side and a half second cousin once removed from the other parents side.

The cause of death is still unknown at this time.

“So we’re hopeful that now that we release the name and we’ve been able to have positive identification will be able to start having leads come in hopefully people will recognize Miss Wilkerson and will want to help and come forth with maybe some information that they have we always want to make sure people know that no matter how small you think the information might be that there’s no two small piece of the puzzle,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Daniel Priddy.

If you want to have DNA submitted to a database to help add DNA links for potential matches, make sure you are using sites that allow result sharing and have your online family trees set to public, otherwise, Koski and teams like hers cannot find your information.

“The problem is that a lot of times people get their DNA tested through or but they don’t know that they need to take their DNA from the sites and download it into the computer and then upload it over to FTDNA or Gedmatch,” said Koski.

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