A woman who was named Lavender Doe, was found still burning when her body was discovered in the Texas Woods by a group of volunteers.
The two men who had found her body had said that there was wood piled beneath her and wood piled on top of her as well, and there was a gas can lid there so it looked like somebody was trying to cover their tracks. Investigators could figure out that the victim was either in her late teens or early twenties. For more than a decade, the woman’s identity would be a secret, even after her killer was arrested. Finally in February 2019, she was given the name, the one she was born with, Dana Lynn Dodd.
The three volunteers with assistance from DNA Doe Project, a non profit organization established to help figure out unknown victims of crime through the use of genetic genealogy. The whole department was very excited for the victim would see the light of the day and her family or her closed ones would get a closure in the end. The killer Dodd, who was known by the name “Lavender Doe” for so long, was named that way because of a lavender shirt she had been wearing at the time of her death. She was discovered burning in Kilgore, Texas on the 29th of October, 2006.
It was a clear case of homicide but the investigators had very little information in order to understand who could the victim possibly be, who was small in her stature and still had a few baby teeth. They had entered the DNA into whatever database was available but they didn’t get any hints and after chasing a lot of clues, the case went cold.
Dark And Disturbing
More than a decade would pass with no answers until a group of amateur online sleuths took on the case and became determined to identify Lavender Doe. The case came back into the spotlight when a few amateur online sleuths started digging it up and were compelled to find answers. They sighed and said we live in a sad world where everyone is concerned about only themselves. Kevin Lord, a former software developer and Hope, the woman working in the gene department started talking and before they could realise, they started putting pieces of the puzzle together.
Lord decided to join the DNA Doe Project, where he connected with other volunteers Lori Gaff and Missy Koski who were just as enthusiastic to solve this crime that had been laying cold for years. This project uses DNA from victims to create DNA profiles and are then uploaded to public ancestry websites. They then work out to find distant relatives and create a family tree.
A very weird and bizarre twist occurred in 2018 when another woman named Felisha Pearson, disappeared after she was last seen with her ex-con boyfriend Joseph Wayne Burnette. Pearson’s body was later discovered in a wooded area that seemed closely related to Lavender Doe’s murder style. Back then Burnette was taken into questioning because his semen was found inside the victim but he had given a solid alibi and was thus not arrested. This time he confessed to killing his girlfriend as well as Lavender Doe.