Wanted Wednesday: Baby Jane Cold Case
It’s been over 34 years, but the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department refuses to give up on Baby Jane, an unidentified toddler found lifeless in Dog River in Pascagoula.
“I hit a certain point of that bridge and I could hear a child or baby crying at the top of his lungs and it’s got to be down in the water there or in a boat or something there, I didn’t know.” It was this lone truck driver’s call to 9-1-1 that led Jackson County investigators underneath I-10, deep into Dog River one cold December morning. Jackson County Sheriff’s Flotilla Captain Louis Seaman said, “We got a call early one morning to Escatawpa River which was called Dog River at the time for a victim in the water.”
It was 1982, Louis Seaman was 16-years-old and had just joined the Jackson County Flotilla, never expecting that his first official call would be to search the waters for a dead toddler. “Overwhelming I guess you could say and very heart wrenching, I guess you could call it, just to know it was a kid,” said Seaman.
Seaman, along with Jackson County investigators, pulled the body of a two-year-old blonde girl from the marshes. Initial reports in ’82 showed Baby Jane had been dead for 36 to 48 hours and drowning was the cause of death.
There is a composite drawing of what the toddler could have looked like, but any and all details surrounding Baby Jane’s death remain foggy. Captain Chris Stratton with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said, “The previous night she was reported by some truck drivers that her mother was carrying her and they were walking on the side of the road and several people offered her a ride she refused and we’re assuming that’s the mother of the baby that was found because no one has ever found out who that was and nobody has reported a child missing or the woman.”
Baby Jane’s body was exhumed in 2008 to extract DNA, but no matches have been made and still no one has come forward to claim the toddler. “Somebody’s missing this child. This is somebody’s kid. The mother was somebody’s kid. There’s a grandparent somewhere. There’s a father somewhere and somebody has to be missing this child. It wouldn’t be a child anymore,” said Stratton.
As the years pass, the initial investigators who worked the case have also passed away or retired and all possible suspects have led authorities to countless dead ends, but Captain Stratton, along with Louis Seaman, say they won’t stop fighting for justice for Baby Jane. “Somebody somewhere knows something and we need to put this baby to rest,” said Seaman.
If you have any clues as to what happened to Baby Jane call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers.