MT. VERNON, IL — Jefferson County authorities have released the identity of the woman whose decapitated head was discovered nearly 30 years ago in the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, as a Tennessee woman last seen by her family in December of 1992. DNA helped officials identify Susan Lund as the person long known as “Ina Jane Doe.”
Lund reportedly left her family home in Clarksville, Tennessee to walk to a local grocery store on Christmas Eve 1992. Her husband reported her missing soon after. A multi-agency search was conducted over several months. The official missing person’s case was closed, but Sue’s family did not stop looking. Susan, who was 25 years old at the time of her abduction, was a mother of three children. She was also pregnant at the time she vanished. It was a month later, on January 27, 1993, that her head was discovered on the side of a wooded roadway within Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park.
The original anthropological analysis estimated the victim was between 30 and 50 years of age, and may have had torticollis or “wry neck syndrome,” a condition that may have caused her head to have a sideways tilt during life. The original forensic images of the deceased woman illustrated this condition to an extreme degree.
Jump ahead nearly 30 years to February 2021, Dr. Amy Michael (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of New Hampshire) approached Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to offer a reexamination of the case using updated forensic methods. Writer and researcher Laurah Norton collaborated with Dr. Michael on the reanalysis and archival research. Dr. Michael says as forensic methods are updated and refined, it is critical to reevaluate cold cases and utilize new approaches, like forensic genetic genealogy, alongside anthropology to identify unidentified victims. Samples of the unknown woman were then transferred to Astrea Forensics in Santa Cruz, California, for the creation of a DNA profile suitable for the use of forensic hereditary genes. Redgrave, a Massachusetts-based genealogical firm, then received the DNA profile.
On March 6th of this year the remains were confirmed to be those of Susan after a DNA sample was compared to those of Susan’s family members, which was then confirmed via one-to-one comparison that the identity of ‘Ina Jane Doe’ is Susan Lund. The collaborating investigators, scientists, and genealogists extend their deepest sympathies to Sue’s family and friends.
Any further information about the actions and/or whereabouts of Susan Lund on or following December 24th, 1992 should be directed to Detective Captain Bobby Wallace at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 244-8004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.