“Juvenile Jane Doe Identified as Linda Sue Karnes: Search for Killer”

By | August 17, 2023

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has identified the remains of a juvenile Jane Doe found over 40 years ago as Linda Sue Karnes, and they are now searching for her killer. The skeletal remains were discovered in the early 1980s, and after exhausting all leads, the victim was classified as a Jane Doe. A DNA profile developed from her remains eventually led to her positive identification. TBI agents are seeking information from the public to help solve the murder. Erin McCullough reported

A juvenile Jane Doe who was killed over 40 years ago has finally been identified as Linda Sue Karnes, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The TBI is now actively searching for the person responsible for her murder. The skeletal remains were discovered in the early 1980s at the old landfill in Ashland City, Cheatham County. TBI agents collaborated with the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death. After examination by forensic anthropologists at the University of Tennessee, it was determined that the remains belonged to a young, white female, believed to be between 14 and 17 years old at the time of her death.

Despite extensive efforts, investigators were unable to identify the victim and she remained classified as a Jane Doe. In an attempt to establish her identity, a sample of her remains was sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. They developed a DNA profile, which was then entered into national databases in the hope of eventually identifying her.

In December of last year, as part of the TBI’s Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative, a sample was sent to the private lab Othram Inc. for further forensic genetic genealogical testing. The scientists at Othram were able to provide the TBI with information about potential relatives connected to the girl. Using this information, the TBI located her family, who revealed that they had not heard from a relative in over four decades. They submitted their DNA for testing, resulting in the positive identification of Linda Sue Karnes.

Linda Sue Karnes was originally from Cleveland but grew up in Cunningham, Tennessee. Prior to her death, she had spent time at Montgomery County Girls Home in Clarksville. The TBI is now appealing to the public for any information that could help solve the murder of Linda Sue Karnes. If you have any knowledge about individuals she may have been with before her death, please contact 1-800-TBI-FIND..

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