PALM BEACH COUNTY (CBS4) – A mission of mercy has led Palm Beach officials to begin the exhumation of more than a dozen bodies in hopes of discovering their identities.
All of the individuals died in the 80s and a group spearheaded by the county’s sheriff’s office and Dinora Perry of Pembroke Pines hopes to identify them by using DNA. The first coffin exhumed on Thursday held the remains of Baby Jane Doe – an infant who was found dead along U.S. 27 in Belle Glade nearly 15 years ago. To this day no one knows her name or where she came from.
“Someone held that baby for 4 weeks, I don’t know if someone killed the baby, the record said homicide. Look, I’m just trying to reach the mom,” said Perry who works with Missing Children International.
The child’s remains were one of five sets of remains exhumed on Thursday.
Samples of DNA will be taken from the exhumed remains and compared to samples in a national data base of missing persons in hopes that a match will be found.
“Give me the baby’s name, tell me a little about the baby so we can bury the baby properly, no one should go by the name Jane Doe, everyone has a name. From the time you were born, everyone has a name, let’s give the baby her name,” said Perry.
Perry said if they get a match and they’ll be able give a family closure by telling them what happened to their loved ones.
While many of the bodies being exhumed are people who died of natural causes, several were the victims of murder but never identified.
“We know that three of the 15 bodies that we’re exhuming were the victims of a triple homicide. There were three bodies found and we are trying to make identification on those three individuals,” said Palm Beach Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Conklin.
The sheriff’s department has not said when the remaining ten bodies will be exhumed.