TX WALKER COUNTY JANE DOE: WF, 14-18, found along I-45 near Huntsville, TX - 1 Nov 1980 *SHERRI JARVIS*

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On November 1, 1980, the body of an unidentified female was located along the northbound lanes of Interstate 45, approximately ½ mile south of exit 1696 in Walker County, Texas. The decedent is described as a well-nourished white female. She had brown hair, approximately 10 inches in length. She had pierced ears and her toenails were painted pink. She had a small scar at the right end of her right eyebrow. She was found wearing a gold colored necklace with a rectangular pendant containing a smoky glass stone. A pair of red, leather strapped, high heeled shoes was found near the body. The decedent may have been traveling to the Ellis Prison Unit in Huntsville, Texas. The reconstruction featured above is an artist’s rendering of what she may have looked like. Anyone with information should contact the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, reference case number PA80-0254 or the Walker County Sheriff’s Department, reference case number 80-11-476.


Date of Discovery: November 1, 1980
Location of Discovery: Walker County, Texas
Estimated Date of Death: 6 hours prior
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Homicide by ligature strangulation

Estimated Age: 14-18 years old (most likely 14.5 to 16.5 years old)
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'0 to 5'6"
Weight: 105 to 120 lbs.
Hair Color: Light brown, 10" long. Cut in wing fashion. Natural color, no evidence of color treatment.
Eye Color: Hazel
Distinguishing Marks/Features: 1 1/2" scar at end of right eyebrow (some agencies list scar on right elbow, but it was confirmed with LE that it is the eyebrow). Pierced ears. Toenails painted pink. Possibly had inverted right nipple.

Dentals: Available. Her teeth had been well cared for.
Fingerprints: Available. RT: X0 63 11 09 04; LT: XI DI 08 07 06.
DNA: Available - mtDNA in CODIS. Ref #F-2713.

Clothing: She may have been wearing jeans, a yellow shirt with large pockets, panties, and pantyhose. A pair of red leather high-heeled sandals, 3" or 4" inch platforms with light brown straps had been thrown beside the body. Pantyhose and underwear (descriptions unavailable) were found at the scene as well.
Jewelry: A rectangular-shaped pendant with a smoky blue glass stone on a very thin gold chain (as seen in the victim's sketch above).

Circumstances of Discovery
A truck driver passing by the Sam Houston National Forest found the unclothed body of the victim. She was lying face down on the shoulder of I-45 north, a half mile south of FM 1696 exit, 2 miles north of Huntsville. She had been sexually assaulted with a blunt instrument, beaten, and strangled. The general condition of the body and her overall health and nutrition indicated she had probably come from a middle class home. There were no identification with the body. No semen was found on or in the victim's body.

When the murder became known through media accounts, several people came forward and said they’d seen a teenager matching her description the day before her body was found. A witness identified the victim as a girl who had been at the South End Gulf station around 6:30 PM on Halloween night asking for directions to the Ellis prison unit.She had been wearing blue jeans, a yellow pullover sweater with big pockets that hung below her waist, and she was carrying high-heeled sandals in her hand. To the best of his recollection, she had been let out of a 1973 or 1974 blue Chevrolet with a lighter colored top, possibly a Caprice, which was being driven by a white male. She looked disheveled like she had been traveling and perhaps sleeping in her clothes. She left the station, walking north on Sam Houston Avenue.

A waitress working at the Hitchin’ Post truck stop on Interstate 45 said the girl came into the restaurant the same evening and again, asked for directions to the Ellis Unit, saying she had a friend there. A map was drawn for her and she departed. The waitress asked the girl how old she was and the girl responded 19. The waitress thought that was an obvious lie and then asked the girl if her parents knew where she was. The young girl replied, "Who cares." The waitress then asked her where she was from. The girl replied the Aransas Pass / Rockport area. It has not been verified that the girl was the unidentified victim.

Her photograph was shown to every inmate at Ellis Prison Unit, but no one claimed to know the girl.

It has been speculated Henry Lee Lucas killed this girl, but investigators could not make a match between the bite mark on her left shoulder and his dental reconstruction.

On January 16, 1981, the unidentified girl was buried in the Adickes Addition at Oakwood Cemetery. The Huntsville Funeral Home buried her and Morris Memorials provided her tombstone.

Her body was exhumed in 1999 and examined by a forensic anthropologist to obtain better information regarding her age and height, and to obtain a DNA sample.

Last edited:
Finger and toe nails: Toenails painted pink.
Piercing: Pierced ears
Scar/mark: Small scar at the right end of her right eyebrow.

Some claimed to have seen the victim, who claimed she was a runaway from Aransas Pass or Rockport, Texas. The victim said she wanted to go to the Ellis Prison Farm to see a "friend." All three witnesses who saw the victim have died.

She was seen by the manager of the South End Gulf Station and two employees of the Hitch 'n Post truck stop. A waitress at the truck stop asked the girl if her parents knew where she was. The girl replied, "Who cares?"

Carl K, who runs the "Who Was Walker County Jane Doe?" Facebook page, has announced that she has been identified.
Her NamUs page is down. Her NCMEC and Doe Network pages are still up.

I just had someone on Twitter inform me and I came in here to post! Wow! I’m happy for Carl. He has spent so many hours on this case.


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Walker County detectives identify victim of 41-year-old murder​

Composite sketch of Sherri Jarvis
Composite sketch of Sherri Jarvis(KBTX)
By Adrienne DeMoss
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:15 PM GMT+1|Updated: 10 minutes ago

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Investigators in Walker County released new information in the “Walker County Jane Doe” case, a 41-year-old murder mystery.
A teenage girl was found along Interstate 45 on Nov. 1, 1980 by a truck driver. She had been raped, strangled and left for dead. After extensive investigation and DNA testing, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office can finally identify the “Jane Doe” as Sherri Ann Jarvis .
Jarvis arrived in Huntsville on Oct. 31, 1980. Witnesses say they saw her at a truck stop where she asked for directions to get to the Ellis Unit Work Farm. The next day around 9 a.m., she was found dead on the side of the road.
The sheriff’s office said in July 2020, Detective Thomas Bean, who has been assigned to the case since 2015, and other investigators sent samples to a lab to begin forensic DNA testing. In March 2021, six people were identified as being direct relatives or aunts and uncles of Jane Doe.
In a statement read at the news conference, Jarvis' family thanked the people who worked to find her.

"We lost Sherri more than 41 years ago and we’ve lived in bewilderment every day since, until now as she has finally been found," the family said.
The statement said Jarvis had been removed from her home because she was frequently absent from school.

"Sherri never returned to our home," the statement said.

"Sherri Ann Jarvis was a daughter, sister, cousin and granddaughter. She loved children, animals and horseback riding," the family said. "She was deprived of so many life experiences as a result of this tragedy."

The family added that Jarvis's parents passed away before they got a chance to find out what had happened to her. "We love and miss Sherri very much. You are with mom and dad now, Sherri, may you rest in peace," the family said.

Now investigators will focus on finding Jarvis' killer.

"I know we like to refer this case as being a cold case," McRae said Tuesday. But "it has always been a top priority — we loved her as well."
Authorities said Sherri Ann Jarvis was 14 years old when she showed up at a Texas truck stop near Huntsville and asked employees for directions. The girl said she was from the Rockport area, however, authorities said she is from Stillwater, Minnesota.


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