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'Jane Doe' identified by Phoenix police four years after death from heat exhaustion

Investigators used forensic genealogy and fingerprinting analysis to identify a woman who died from heat exhaustion in 2017.
Credit: Phoenix Police Department

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department has recently identified a woman found dead from heat exhaustion near 22nd Place and Garfield Street in 2017. 

The woman had been referred to as "Jane Doe" until Phoenix police used forensic genealogy techniques to identify her as Laura Jean Jordan.

Earlier this year, Phoenix police teamed up with the DNA Doe Project to scan through databases of DNA to find any connections to the unknown woman. 

Once their search turned up a new lead, investigators asked the FBI to conduct a fingerprint analysis that was able to confirm Jordan's identity. 

The Doe Project has become a go-to resource for law enforcement agencies across the country needing resources to identify unknown persons. 

The nonprofit was founded in 2017 and it solved its first cold case the following year.  

Maricopa County still has hundreds of active cases involving unidentified remains that are needing to be resolved. A database of cases dating back to the 1970s can be found on the county's website.

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