“Juvenile Jane Doe Identified as Linda Sue Karnes: Help Solve Her 40-Year-Old Murder”

By | August 17, 2023



The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has identified a juvenile Jane Doe who was killed over 40 years ago as Linda Sue Karnes. The skeletal remains were found in Cheatham County in the early 1980s and were originally estimated to belong to a young, white female between the ages of 14 and 17. After exhausting all leads, the victim was classified as a Jane Doe. Recent DNA testing led to the positive identification of Karnes. The TBI is now seeking information from the public to help solve her murder. Erin McCullough reported

A juvenile female victim, previously known as Jane Doe, who was murdered over 40 years ago in Cheatham County, Tennessee, has recently been identified as Linda Sue Karnes, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The authorities are now actively seeking the individual responsible for her killing. The discovery of skeletal remains at the old landfill on Highway 249 in Ashland City during the early 1980s prompted TBI agents to collaborate with the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation. Forensic anthropologists from the University of Tennessee determined that the remains belonged to a young Caucasian female, initially estimated to be between 14 and 17 years old. The UT Anthropology Department determined that the girl had been deceased for three to nine years before the remains were found on October 21, 1981. Despite exhaustive efforts to identify the victim, investigators were unable to establish her identity and classified her as a Jane Doe. A sample of her remains was subsequently sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI), where a DNA profile was developed and entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System in the hope of eventually identifying her. Last December, as part of the TBI’s Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative, a sample of the girl’s remains was submitted to the private lab Othram Inc. for further forensic genetic genealogical testing. Scientists at Othram were able to provide agents with information about potential relatives connected to the girl, which the TBI utilized to locate these family members. Upon contact, the family revealed that they had not heard from a relative in over four decades and submitted their DNA for testing against the Jane Doe. This led to the positive identification of the victim as Linda Sue Karnes. According to the TBI, Karnes was originally from Cleveland but grew up in Cunningham, Tennessee. Before her death, she had spent time at the Montgomery County Girls Home in Clarksville. TBI special agents are now appealing to the public for any information that may help solve Karnes’ murder. If you have any knowledge about individuals Linda may have been with before her death, please contact 1-800-TBI-FIND..