Sheep Flats Jane Doe was a woman found shot to death near Lake Tahoe in Nevada in 1982. Her nickname originated from the fact that she was discovered in the Sheep Flats area outside of Mt. Rose on a hiking trail. When discovered, there were two sets of foot prints leading to the scene from the parking area, and one set returning. No one had seen her in the Tahoe area in the days before her body was found. An autopsy has shown that her last meal was a salad. She was originally believed to be from Europe due to inoculation scars on her arm and her dental work. An independent dental examination in 2010 has discredited this original assumption. She was dressed for a day at the lake: jeans and t-shirt over a blue bathing suit. Upon close forensic inspection, it was determined the t-shirt was sold only on the West Coast, leading investigators to believe she may have visited or had been residing in one of the western states before her murder. Sheep Flats Jane Doe is currently buried at Our Lady of Sorrows on North Virginia Street in Reno, NV.
In July 2018, the DNA Doe Project (DDP) announced Sheep Flat Jane Doe had been tentatively identified. DDP continued to work closely with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) on this case to confirm her name. In September her identity was confirmed by WCSO, and then on May 7, 2019 they publicly announce the identification of Sheep Flat Jane Doe as Mary Edith Silvani. She was 33 years old at the time of her death.
Mary Edith Silvani was the daughter of Italian immigrant, John Edward Silvani, born in France, and Blanche Curry, born in Canada. Mary grew up in Michigan and attended high school there.
The suspect in Mary’s murder has also been identified, by the work of Identifinders International. He was James Richard Curry of Texas and is now deceased.
Many thanks go out to all who dedicated their time and energy to identifying Sheep Flat Jane Doe, both those in law enforcement and the DDP volunteers, and those DNA relatives who graciously offered cooperation and assistance. It took the coordinated efforts of many individuals with diverse skills working many hours to finally uncover the identity of this unfortunate young woman.
Image Credit: Carl Koppelman