PA PHILADELPHIA JANE DOE: WF, 34-65, found in black plastic trash bag in vacant lot in Philadelphia, PA - 8 Dec 2006 - Sorority key ''AZB E. Mathis''

486UFPA - Unidentified Female

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Alpha Zeta Beta sorority key with the name "E. Mathis" on it.

Date of Discovery: December 8, 2006
Location of Discovery: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Estimated Date of Death: 2001-2006
State of Remains: Partial Skeleton & partial decomposition- head and feet not recovered
Cause of Death: Unknown


Physical Description

Estimated Age: 34-65 years old
Race: White
Sex: Female
Height: 5'4" to 5'8"
Weight: Unknown
Hair Color: Brown or auburn hair
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Four red acrylic fingernails were recovered. She had arthritis on the lumbar vertebrae.


Identifiers

Dentals: Unknown
Fingerprints: Unknown
DNA: Available


Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: Thin, white torn clothing, possibly from a blouse, skirt, or dress. No pattern, size, or brand evident; darker color nylon knee high stockings.
Jewelry: Yellow metal necklace and charm. The charm is a sorority key with missing stones and is inscribed with "AZB", E. MATHIS, Life Member June 2, 1946, Alpha Delta."
Additional Personal Items: Unknown


Circumstances of Discovery

The victim was located in a black plastic trash bag in a vacant lot, near Tusculum Street, which parallels the railroad tracks, in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 8, 2006. Investigators suspect she had been dug up elsewhere and dumped in this lot at a later date. She was left haphazardly about 30 yards away from a set of old railroad tracks.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Philadelphia Medical Examiner
Agency Contact Person: Steve Olszewski
Agency Phone Number: 215-685-7445
Agency Case Number: 06-5308

NCIC Case Number: U-490018644
NamUs Case Number: UP446


Information Source(s)

NamUs
Philly.com 6/18/07
Philadelphia Daily News 12/9/06


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kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
The Greek system keeps historical records of all current & former members.

This particular key belongs to the Alpha Zeta Chapter in Baltimore.

What is concerning is that that the remains were identified as White. This specific Sorority is nationally recognized as African American. Could their be an error that is delaying someone identifying this woman?

Given the date the remains were found & the estimated age this key may have been passed on to a descendant.

Here is a public search of the last name Matthis within this Greek organization.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
The Greek system keeps historical records of all current & former members.

This particular key belongs to the Alpha Zeta Chapter in Baltimore.

What is concerning is that that the remains were identified as White. This specific Sorority is nationally recognized as African American. Could their be an error that is delaying someone identifying this woman?

Given the date the remains were found & the estimated age this key may have been passed on to a descendant.

Here is a public search of the last name Matthis within this Greek organization.
Good research! The second link took me to a list of people who had been suspended from the organization, though... Not those with the Mathis name.

This key would have belonged to someone that probably would have been in her 80s when this decedent was found. Could it have been her daughter, or even granddaughter? Depending on which end of the estimated age range is correct. Perhaps since this decedent is listed as white, the original key owner had no daughters, and this was a daughter-in-law? Interesting that someone might carry this "heirloom" on their person, though... It would have to mean quite a lot to that person as well, I'd think, to wear it as a necklace.
But I suppose someone could have picked up this key second-hand at a thrift shop or something too.
 
Last edited:

kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
Good research! The second link took me to a list of people who had been suspended from the organization, though... Not those with the Mathis name.

This key would have belonged to someone that probably would have been in her 80s when this decedent was found. Could it have been her daughter, or even granddaughter? Depending on which end of the estimated age range is correct. Perhaps since this decedent is listed as white, the original key owner had no daughters, and this was a daughter-in-law? Interesting that someone might carry this "heirloom" on their person, though... It would have to mean quite a lot to that person as well, I'd think, to wear it as a necklace.
But I suppose someone could have picked up this key second-hand at a thrift shop or something too.
Search that 2nd link for the name Matthis, only 1 came up and she was inactive. I think it said Florida.
SoutheasternFloridaRho KappaFlorida State UniversityFraziaeMathisJanuary 26, 2021

It seems like the owner of the key has been presumably identified as an Edna Mathis.
Lots of info here.

Ha! Loved the reference to Jonestown. :giggling:

I'll keep digging.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Search that 2nd link for the name Matthis, only 1 came up and she was inactive. I think it said Florida.
Yes, but that list isn't a list of all members.

The following list reflects only individuals that were suspended between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2021 and had not satisfied all conditions for reinstatement as of June 30, 2021.
 

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