Around 11:00 am on March 17, 2015 a passerby saw a tennis shoe sticking out of the ground near a walking trail just north of the Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City, NV. The responding Investigators discovered human remains wrapped in a sleeping bag buried in a shallow grave. An autopsy determined the unidentified deceased was a small, white female between the ages of 42 and 71; 4’6 to 5’3 inches tall; and having reddish blonde hair. The woman was fully clothed wearing a long-sleeve, camo-print thermal type shirt; loose gray elastic waist band sweat pants; and dark colored cargo pants. Also the woman was wearing white and purple Asics sneakers size 7. Aristar bifocal glasses were found with the body. It was believed the deceased had been in the ground for about 12 months before being discovered.
Date Found March 17, 2015
Race White / Caucasian
PMI 12 Months
Location Carson City, NV
Agency of Jurisdiction
Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Kolby Hicks, Criminalist
Links to More Information
Carson City, NV – A Jane Doe unidentified woman found in a shallow grave near a walking trail north of Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City has been identified as Joyce A Rodgers Annis, originally from Michigan.
A hiker walking the Lone Mountain trail in Carson City noticed a shoe sticking out of the ground and alerted authorities, who found the buried body of a woman wrapped in a sleeping bag. They estimated she had died about a year before she was discovered.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Office brought the case to the DNA Doe Project in 2019 to attempt investigative genetic genealogy in order to trace Jane Doe’s identity using her DNA matches to build her family tree. After a complex series of laboratory processes to extract DNA and translate it into a workable profile for comparison to the millions of records in the databases at GEDmatch.com and FTDNA.com, volunteer investigative genetic genealogists got to work in May, 2020.
“Connecting the dots between our Jane Doe and her matches was a complex and time-consuming process on this case,” said team leader Missy Koski, “This tree covered 9 generations, complicated with immigration and the fact that many of the matches were not only distantly related to Jane Doe, but also were distant to each other.”
Since research began, more than 13 volunteers have worked to connect the matches, with family trees going back to ancestors born in the mid 1700s in England. It took a little less than a year to narrow the search to a single family in the vast tree. Three of the six siblings were women, and this lead was offered to the investigating officers to follow up. Last October, a family member’s AncestryDNA test was uploaded to GEDmatch.com, a public database that can be used by law enforcement cases, and matched at the expected relationship to Joyce Rodgers.
In addition to providing the critical lead to this identification, the DNA Doe Project team also provided information about a man associated with Joyce Rodgers, who later confessed to burying her body on Lone Mountain.
The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; HudsonAlpha Discovery for extraction of DNA from tissue and whole-genome sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro and FTDNA for providing their databases; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to return the names to our Jane and John Does.
Image Credit: FBI Approximation Services
Last Updated: February 17, 2023