Bedford NH Jane Doe 1971


On October 6, 1971 a decomposing body was found off a logging road in a wooded area near the Route 101 by-pass in Bedford, New Hampshire, an area now the site of the on-ramp from Route 101 to Kilton Road in Bedford. Forensic analysis indicated the victim was a White/Caucasian female, approximately 20 to 40 years old, between 61 and 65 inches tall, with brown hair. She wore a maroon pullover blouse with lace at the neck and short hip-hugger dungaree-type shorts. The cause of death is undetermined. Because of the location of her remains, the manner of death was determined to be homicide. The time of death was estimated to be 1 to 3 months prior to her discovery.

NamUs ID: 11273
Date Body Found: October 6, 1971
Race: White / Caucasian
Gender: Female
Estimated Age: 20-40
Estimated PMI: 3 months
Location: Bedford, NH

Agency of Jurisdiction
New Hampshire State Police
Mallory S. Littman, Trooper
[email protected]

Link to More Information

Status: Identified

Almost fifty years after the remains of a woman were found off a logging road near the town of Bedford, the New Hampshire State Police and the DNA Doe Project can confirm the woman’s identity as Katherine Ann “Kathy” Alston. Although the cause of her death could not be determined, based on the location of the remains her death has been treated as a homicide.

Katherine “Kathy” Alston courtesy of New Hampshire State Police

Ms. Alston was born in 1945 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the eldest of several siblings, and spent much of her life in the Boston, Massachusetts area. She was approximately 26 at the time of her death.

After exhausting all leads, the New Hampshire State Police reached out to the DNA Doe Project in February of 2020. The lab work to develop a DNA profile was complex, ultimately requiring a second bone sample.

One of Ms. Alston’s siblings had taken a Direct-to-Consumer DNA test and uploaded their DNA file to GEDmatch. GEDmatch changed the setting on that kit in May 2019 as part of their new policy regarding law enforcement access to matches. Because the kit remained “opted-out”, when Jane Doe’s profile was uploaded in 2020, that crucial connecting match, which would have solved the case immediately, was not available to the team. GEDmatch changed this policy in January of 2021, and since then the entire database has been available for investigative genetic genealogy matching to John and Jane Does.

The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the New Hampshire State Police, especially Trooper Mallory Littman, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Dr. Amy Michael, University of New Hampshire; University of North Texas Health Science Center for providing DNA extract; Astrea Forensics for DNA extraction; HudsonAlpha Discovery for whole genome sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; the Austin Police Homicide Cold Case/Missing Persons Unit; GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA for providing their databases; our generous donors who contributed to this case and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home.

Doe-Nate Fund Case:
This was a Doe-Nate Funded case.  The goal of $3,500 was reached.  A major, generous donation from Celia Cachat, along with our other donors, fully funded this case.  Thank you to all who supported this case.

partially funded by donation from audiochuckPartial funding by a generous donation from audiochuck

Last Updated: February 9, 2024

Posted on

May 11, 2020