New break in 47-year-old Josephine County cold case

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A decades-long cold case received a huge boost after the remains of a missing girl were positively identified.

In August of 1971, scattered skeletal remains of a young woman were found off Redwood Highway near milepost 35.

At the time, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t identify who the remains belonged to. Eventually, all leads were exhausted and the case was classified as “inactive.”

By 2004, advancements in forensic science finally allowed investigators to build a facial reconstruction, made by Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy Joyce Nagy. She nicknamed her work “Jane ‘Annie’ Doe.” The reconstruction allowed investigators to keep the case active for several more years.

In the latter part of 2018, after weeks of DNA analysis, Jane “Annie” Doe’s family was traced to a sister living in Washington State. The sister was contacted and investigators were able to positively identify the remains of Jane “Annie” Doe as Anne Marie Lehman of Aberdeen, Washington. She would have turned 65 years old in 2019. She was affectionately referred to as “Annie” by her family.

Investigators said 16-year-old Annie went missing in 1971 under “troubling circumstances.” Some people believe she was a runaway, others say she was taken by a human trafficking organization. However, the circumstances around her disappearance and death are still under investigation.

Anyone with information about Anne Marie Lehman is asked to call Josephine County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Selig at 541-474-5123.

The sheriff’s office said, “We who work these cases are keenly aware that our success often brings pain to those who have lost their loved ones. The longawaited closure brings with it the details of the investigation not easily accepted, causing family members to relive the pain of their loss. We offer our sincere condolences to the family and extend our continuing support in any way possible.”

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