It was October 5th, 2003, in Rancho San Diego, California, when someone made a horrific discovery in the dumpster of an apartment complex on Hilton Head Court.
There, among the garbage, was a pair of human legs, and they were female. It was the only sign of something that had gone wrong.
After the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene at 1:25 in the afternoon, they couldn’t find any other remains or any other evidence.
The woman’s legs were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Although they could not determine how the woman had died, they determined her death was due to homicide.
Authorities worked to piece together who she was, but they had nothing to go on except her legs.
Days turned to months. Months turned into years, and still, they were no closer to figuring out who this woman was.
She was labeled as a Jane Doe, and her case was now considered cold.
Last year, 17 years after the woman’s legs were found, authorities decided to try something new in the hopes of cracking her case.
“In June 2020, the Homicide Unit’s Cold Case Team, in coordination with the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Crime Lab, selected the case to be worked using investigative genetic genealogy,” the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
“This was the first time the Homicide Unit attempted to identify a murder victim, or “Jane Doe” case, utilizing investigative genetic genealogy.”
San Diego County Sheriff’s Office; pictured above is a photo of the woman whose legs were found in the dumpster