Facial reconstruction by Franklin Co. Coroner’s Office
Belle in the Well aka Chesapeake Jane Doe is the name given to a Jane Doe who was found in a rural well in Windsor Township, Lawrence Co., OH, in April 1981. She was weighted down by a rope around her neck that was tied to a cinder block. She had been strangled. The woman was found wearing a pair of grey flannel pants, and a lightweight shirt under a gray pullover. She also wore a red cable-knit cardigan sweater, with rubber bands around her wrists. The only items found on her body were the key to a locker at a Greyhound terminal in Huntington, WV, a bus ticket, a pay stub, and a Jerry Falwall commemorative coin. Authorities say that these leads have not been useful in identifying the woman. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, her facial features were not recognizable and no fingerprints were available. As of February 2018, a total of 241 women have been ruled out.
Based on the absence of her 12-year-old molars and some evidence of gum recession, Belle’s age was estimated as between 30-60 years old. She had a noticeable overbite. She was 5’4″ and weighed about 140 pounds. Belle was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) in 2012, as Case No. 6259.
Belle’s DNA was provided to DNA Doe by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in November 2017. Although Belle’s DNA was highly degraded, we were able to determine that she may have been local to Cabell Co., WV. We also have developed some knowledge of her extended family.
The second round of sequencing has been completed and we are working with the improved results.
A list of rule-outs can be found on the NamUS website at:
The full NamUS case report can be found at:
Raised to date: $1370
(last updated 4/17/2018 10pm)