On May 3, 1975 a local farmer discovered the remains of an unidentified woman floating in the Nation River a short distance from the Highway 417 bridge south of the Town of Casselman, about 40 miles east of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Ontario Provincial Police found blood on the bridge and speculate she was thrown into the river from the eastbound lanes of Highway 417 of the bridge. The deceased had been strangled with a flat plastic covered television cable. Her hands and ankles had been bound with men’s neckties, and her face had been wrapped with a tea towel. Officials described the woman as Caucasian, aged 25-50 years old, 5’2″ to 5’8″ in height, approximately 100 lbs., average build, and having brown hair that was dyed a reddish blond. Evidence indicated she had been in the river since the late summer of 1974
DNA Doe Project Status: Research in process
Description On May 3, 1975 a local farmer discovered the remains of an unidentified woman floating in the Nation River a short distance from the Highway 417 bridge south of the Town of Casselman, about 40 miles east of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Ontario Provincial Police found blood on the bridge...
Date of Discovery: May 3, 1975
Location of Discovery: Casselman, Ontario, Canada
Estimated Date of Death: 1-4 weeks or as early as Summer or Fall of 1974
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Homicide by strangulation
Estimated Age: 20-45 years old
Weight: 100 lbs. (45kg)
Hair Color: Naturally dark-brown, dyed strawberry blond; shoulder-length.
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Slight to average build. Her appendix had been removed previously and she had bright pink or red enamel on her finger and toe nails that was manicured. Possible smoker.
Dentals: Available. Extensive dental work. The victim wore partial dentures with porcelain teeth in her upper and lower jaws. Many of her natural teeth had required fillings.
Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: The victim was naked except for a blue body suit that had been pulled up over her shoulders.
Additional Personal Items: "Irish Toast" towel: This item was manufactured in Ireland, exported to Toronto, Ontario and distributed to stores in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. They were sold at $1.39 (Canadian) each and had been stocked in stores for some time. The towel had Irish Gaelic printing on it, spelling out a traditional Irish toast. A blue and gray necktie. A red and white necktie. A decorative necktie known as a 'Canadian Tie' and bearing three Canadian emblems on a navy blue background. The necktie was manufactured in Montreal and had been sold by various stores in the province of Quebec and in the eastern part of Ontario. 2 fringed green cloths: each 70 inches long and 48 inches in width. Flat black plastic-covered wire: This was the typical wire used in cable television hook-ups. The plastic wire had a slight splattering of gray paint. Subsequent investigation revealed that the cable was manufactured in Renfrew, Ontario and distributed in the Ottawa, Hull, Montreal and Brockville areas.
Circumstances of Discovery
On the morning of May 3, 1975, this victim was located floating face down in the Nation River about 100 yards from the Highway 417 bridge. The Nation River is west of Casselman, Ontario and just thirty five miles east of Ottawa.
After recovering the body, it was discovered that the victim's wrists were bound together in front using a man's necktie. Two other neckties had been used to secure the ankles.
The victim's head was wrapped in 2 fringed green cloths. Upon removal of the cloths, investigators found that a kitchen towel had been knotted in the back to form a ligature around her neck. A television cable wire had also been wrapped around the victim's neck, over top of the kitchen towel.
Initially, it was believed that the woman's partial dentures had been manufactured abroad. However, it has now been suggested that the dentures were fairly common in Southern Ontario and Canada in terms of quality and materials.
Although it has not been determined when the body entered the Nation River, it is most likely 1-4 weeks prior to the discovery on 03 May 1975. However, it is also possible that the body entered the River prior to the river freeze over in December 1974 or January 1975.
There was a vague report from a store clerk in Marmora who remembered selling a provincial necktie to a man and woman couple. The woman matched the victim's description, but the store clerk could not remember a date for the sale.
The male with the woman at that time could only be described as possibly 5'4"-5'6" and about 35 years of age.
The remains were buried in 1987.
Over 300 missing persons were excluded from the case.
The victim has been known to investigators and the public as the "Nation River Lady."
In the summer of 2017, authorities reopened the case a second time (the first being in 1999) and appealed to the public for information.
On May 3, 1975, #JaneDoe was located floating face down in the Nation River near Casselman, Ontario, Canada
Caucasian, aged 25-50 years old, 5’2″ to 5’8″ in height, approximately 100 lbs., average build, and having brown hair that was dyed a reddish blond. Evidence indicated she had been in the river since the late summer of 1974
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