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List of unidentified murder victims in Arizona

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Currently in the United States, there exists over 40000 cases of various individuals being found dead across the country, who are unable to be identified. A large portion of these decedents were murdered through various homicidal means.

This article highlights various murder victims found throughout the state of Arizona. In these cases, most still remain unsolved.

"Little Miss X"[edit]

External images
Facial reconstruction of "Little Miss X"
Composite sketch of the victim
Personal items found at the crime scene

The skeletonized remains of a girl, nicknamed "Little Miss X," were found on a desolate road 10 miles southeast of the Grand Canyon in Coconino County, Arizona on October 31, 1958. Although no cause of death could be determined, the case has always been considered a homicide.[1]

The girl was a white American with possible Hispanic or Latino ancestry; she is estimated to have been between 11 and 14 years old at the time of her death. She was between 5 ft and 5 ft 3 in (150 and 160 cm) in height.[2] It was determined that she had died 9–14 months before her bones were found.[3]

The victim had received good dental care during her life, having seven fillings in four of her teeth. Her hair had been dyed a lighter brown from its natural dark brown.[4] Many of the victim's personal items were at the scene as well: a 10-karat-gold chain; a small jar of Pond's cold cream; a white nylon comb; a small white powder puff with traces of sun-tan-colored powder; and a small blue plastic nail file case with an indented letter "P" and a hand-printed capital "R" next to it.[5]

No clothing was found on the victim's body. However, a white wool cardigan short-sleeved sweater, a white cotton size 34C bra, and brown Capri pants with a green-and-red-plaid design were found at the scene. Investigators deduced the victim had been stripped naked prior to, or shortly after, being killed. A pair of white panties was also found, although they appeared to be too large for the victim.[6][7]

Her body was exhumed in 1962 for further examination. However, due to poor record-keeping, no records exist indicating her re-burial site.[7] The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has since released a facial reconstruction image of her.[5]

"Little Miss Nobody"[edit]

The partially buried body of a female child was discovered by a schoolteacher in Congress, Arizona on July 31, 1960. Investigators determined via evident disturbances in the sand close to the actual burial site that whoever had buried the child had initially made several attempts to dig a deeper grave to conceal her remains.

A forensic pathologist would determine that the body was that of a white girl between the ages of two and seven years old at the time of her death, with her most likely age being between three and six years old.[8] The girl's toenails and fingernails were painted a bright red, and her hair was dyed auburn.[9]

A local radio host named this decedent "Little Miss Nobody." He would also initiate a local campaign to raise funds for the child's burial. More than 70 people attended the subsequent service. Although this child's DNA has been uploaded to national databases of missing persons, she has never been identified.

Phoenix Jane Doe (1983) [edit]

External images
Parabon Nanolabs Reconstruction

On August 15, 1983, the decomposed body of a young Native American/Hispanic female was discovered in a ditch in the desert south of Ahwatukee neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. Cause of death was determined to be homicide by suffocation, and she had been deceased for at least a few days. She was estimated to be between 19 and 30 years old, was 5 feet 5 inches tall and estimated to be 140 pounds. She had dark, wavy, brown hair and brown/black eyes. Race was initially difficult to determine, until DNA Phenotyping was conducted on the decedent by Parabon Nanolabs, which also created an estimate of how she may have appeared in life. Her case is currently being investigated by Parabon Nanolabs.[10]

Phoenix John Doe (1983)[edit]

External image
Sketch by Stephen Missal

On September 11, 1983, a middle aged or elderly white man was found deceased in a field in Phoenix, Arizona. He had died from blunt force trauma to the head, however the manner in which it occurred has not been conclusively found. He was estimated to be 5 feet 9 inches tall and 100 pounds. He had short, gray hair and a full beard with a mustache, as well as brown eyes. He was found wearing a pair of non-descript brown pants, a black belt, and a pair of multicolored boxers.[11]

The DNA Doe Project was contacted to assist with the man's identification in April 2021.[12]

"Castleberry Kate" [edit]

External image
NCMEC Reconstruction

On May 15, 1989, a group of construction workers found the skeletal remains of a young white female in a shallow grave in a vacant lot in Bullhead City, Arizona. Cause of death could not be ascertained, however due to the circumstances she was found in, investigators believe she was killed by foul play. She may have lay dead in the location for anywhere between 2 and 10 years. She was estimated to be between 17 and 19 years old and was between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall. She had long brown hair which may have been bleached at some point. Weight and eye color could not be ascertained. She was found wearing non-descriptive women's clothing and a purse, as well as an owl-shaped earring. She also appeared to have had extensive dental care in her life, as well as a partial denture plate.[13]

Pima County John Doe (1998) [edit]

External image
3D Reconstruction

On October 1, 1998, a group of city water surveyors found the decomposed remains of a young, possibly multiracial male in a desert area near Tucson, Arizona. Cause of death was determined to be homicide by multiple gunshots by a .38 caliber semi auto firearm, and the man had been deceased for at least a few days. He appeared to have been killed on location, and appeared to have staggered from the area he was shot before ultimately succumbing to his wounds under a mesquite tree. He was estimated to be between 17 and 23 years old, was 6 feet tall and weighed 252 pounds. He had short black hair and brown eyes. He was found wearing a grey, maroon and blue pullover shirt with a pocket on the front as well as tan, blue and maroon shorts.[14]

Tucson John Doe[edit]

Tucson John Doe
External image
Charred cowboy boot

On July 23, 1991, the charred remains of a young to middle aged Hispanic man were found in an open desert area of Tucson, Arizona. He had been shot to death multiple times before being set on fire, and is believed to have been deceased for a number of days. He was estimated to be between 25 and 45 years old, was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 140 pounds. Hair color and eye color could not be ascertained due to decomposition and the remains being set on fire. He was found wearing a blue or green pullover shirt, a pair of Levi Strauss jeans, a pair of Calvin Klein underpants, a pair of metal rimmed glasses, white socks with blue stripes and cowboy boots. [15]

"Devil Dog Doe" [edit]

External images
Digital Reconstruction
Additional Reconstruction

On October 24, 2003, the decomposed remains of an elderly white female were found by a group of deer hunters in a wooded area off Devil Dog Road, about a mile south of Interstate 40 and six miles west of Williams, Arizona. Cause of death was found to be a single blow of blunt force trauma to the head, and the woman had been at the location for anywhere between three days to two weeks. She was estimated to be between 55 and 65 years old, was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 151 pounds. She had grey/blonde hair and brown or hazel eyes. She had a mole above the left side of her forehead, as well as one on her right shoulder and right lower leg. She also had scars below her right knee, the back of her right forearm, and the back of her left hand. She suffered from senile ecchymosis over the back side of her right upper arm. She appeared to have extensive dental work, which may have cost over $20,000 USD. She had pneumonia in her right lung as well as evidence of heart disease. Isotope testing determined that she may have spent much of her young life in Central Europe, possibly Vienna, Austria. She spent the last decade of her life in Western France, possibly near Paris.[16]

"Baby Skylar" [edit]

External image
Estimation of mother

On October 10, 2005, a cleaning crew found the body of a full-term infant with umbilical cord still attached in a trash bin in a women's restroom at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Cause of death was found to be negligent homicide by exposure. The infant was found in Terminal 4, the busiest terminal in the airport, home to both US Airways and Southwest Airlines. This has led investigators to believe that the newborn may have been delivered elsewhere and then deposited in the trash bin. The case was taken on by Parabon NanoLabs, who provided a likeness of the mother. The mother was most likely of northern European descent with a light complexion, green eyes, few freckles and blonde hair.[17]

See also[edit]

  • List of unidentified murder victims in the United States

Others articles of the Topic Arizona : Don Goldwater, ASU Undie Run, Arizona State Capitol Police


  1. Leader, LARRY HENDRICKS News Team. "Cold Case Close-up -- File: Little Miss X (1958)". azdailysun.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  2. "NamUs UP # 9859". identifyus.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. April 30, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  3. Leader, Larry Hendricks News Team. "File: Little Miss X (1958)". azdailysun.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  4. "NamUs – National Unidentified Persons Data System Case Report – 9859". identifyus.org. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Jane Doe 1958". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  6. "Case File: 1193UFAZ". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. October 10, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hendricks, Larry (October 9, 2015). "Cold Case Close-up – File: Little Miss X (1958)". Arizona Daily Sun. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  8. "Who is 'Little Miss Nobody'? What Authorities Want You to Know About Decomposed Girl Found in 1960". Click 2 Houston. April 5, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  9. "9 Murder Victims Whose Names Remain a Mystery". Huffington Post. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  10. "796UFAZ". www.doenetwork.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  11. "The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)". NamUs.gov. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  12. "Baseline John Doe 1983". DNA Doe Project Cases. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  13. "1329UFAZ". www.doenetwork.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  14. "285UMAZ". www.doenetwork.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  15. "The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)". NamUs.gov. Retrieved 2021-06-14.
  16. "411UFAZ". www.doenetwork.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  17. "1160UFAZ". www.doenetwork.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.

External links[edit]

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