Identity Revealed In FDL County 2008 Jane Doe Case

Her family last spoke to her in late summer of 2008. At the time the female was in Beloit and looking to get a ride back home. Her mother lived in northern Illinois at the time, and was not able to pick her up. The female was never heard from again. The family never filed a formal missing person report, choosing rather to continue to attempt to contact their daughter on their own.

In November of that year, hunters came across the remains of a female in a shallow grave located near the Town of Ashford. There was no way to identify the female, and she became knows as “Jane Doe”, and was laid to rest December 7, 2011.

Thirteen years later, to the day, Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt held a press conference in Fond du Lac to inform the public that the identity of Jane Doe has been determined. Amy Marie Yeary was 18 years old the summer she disappeared. Waldschmidt said the investigation continues into how Amy Marie Yeary ended up in southern Fond du Lac County.

The complete press conference is as follows:

“Thirteen years ago today, on November 23, 2008, three hunters reported they had found the remains of a decomposed body on private property in a shallow creek on Skyline Drive in the Town of Ashford in southeastern Fond du Lac County.

Investigators from our office, working in conjunction with the Medical Examiner’s Office, documented the scene, secured evidence, removed her body, and began the in-depth process of trying to identify the woman we came to know as Jane Doe.

In the weeks, months and years following the discovery of Jane Doe, hundreds of missing persons files were reviewed, leads and tips followed up on, and computer generated facial and physical composites were shared with the public, however our Jane Doe remained unidentified. She was finally laid to rest in the Cattaraugus Cemetery on December 7th, 2011.

We have always remained optimistic that someday we would be able to identify Jane Doe, and that is why this case has continuously been assigned to detectives since the investigation began. In November of 2016, two of our detectives were given the opportunity to present this case to a panel of national experts and a forensic anthropologist at the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia.

Based on the presentation, experts recommended that we exhume her body to collect bone, tooth and hair samples in order to conduct new forms of forensic testing that did not exist back in 2008. Jane Doe was exhumed on April 26, 2018, and samples were collected and sent to numerous laboratories throughout the country that specialize in various forms of forensic analysis.

In the months following her exhumation, detectives received results from the forensic testing and used those results to compare to other known DNA profiles. Genealogy research, assisted by national expert Barbara Rae-Venter, provided investigators new leads that led to identifying individuals believed to be direct relation to Jane Doe, and DNA samples were collected from those potential family members in the hopes of confirming her identify.

I’m pleased to announce that through the hard work and dedication of these detectives, as well as others who are now retired, their work to keep this investigation moving forward has resulted in the positive identification of Jane Doe as Amy Marie Yeary, date of birth 12-09-1989, from Rockford, Illinois.

Amy would have been 18 years old when she died in 2008. She was positively identified using three different means: comparison of DNA from her mother, comparison of DNA from her sister, and a comparison of dental x-rays. While speaking with Amy’s mother, detectives learned that in late summer of 2008, Amy made a phone call to her mother and stated she was in Beloit and wanted a ride home.

Her mother was living in northern Illinois at the time, but was unable to accommodate Amy’s request due to some extenuating circumstances, and family never heard from Amy again. While no official missing person report was ever filed, Amy’s family continued their own search, hoping to eventually make contact with her.

On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Amy’s family and friends. As much as we have been wondering who Amy was for all these years, you have been wondering where Amy is.

Identifying Amy Yeary is a big step in this complex and very active investigation, however there is still much work that needs to be done to determine how and why she lost her life. As advancements in DNA, genetic genealogy and forensic testing continue to evolve, we await results of additional tests currently being performed at forensic laboratories and are hopeful new evidence can be identified. Investigators have also learned that sadly,

Amy was a victim of human sex trafficking. She was oftentimes transient, and detectives have learned she had spent time in the Chicago, Beloit and Milwaukee areas in the weeks preceding her death.
As we continue our investigation; today, we are here asking for the public’s help.

If there is anyone who knew Amy Marie Yeary, has knowledge surrounding her death, or knows how or why she would have travelled to southeastern Fond du Lac County in the summer of 2008, we ask that you please come forward. Any information you have could be extremely helpful to our investigation, and no matter how small or inconsequential you think your information may be, we ask that you contact us. You can contact Detective Ryan Murphy at 920-929-3380 or call our Fond du Lac County Law Enforcement Tip Line at 920-906-4777 and leave an anonymous message.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has already provided us with information about this case. Thank you to the media for helping us share Amy’s story with the public. I’d also like to thank the current and former detectives who have worked so hard on this case, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who have been amazing partners with us, the various forensic laboratories who have and continue to conduct extensive testing, and the many others who have assisted us over the years.

Our hope is that with this collaborative effort and the public’s assistance we can determine what happened to Amy, bring justice in her memory, and answer the unanswered questions for her family and loved ones. I also ask that you honor the wishes of Amy’s family, who are requesting that media not contact them regarding this investigation.”