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Mary Jane Doe – Who Was She?

Mary Jane Doe

Unresolved Mysteries

Mary Jane Doe

Mary Jane Doe or Tabetha Ann Slain Murlin

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Mary Jane Doe or Tabetha Ann Slain Murlin?

A construction worker renovated a house in the 3500 block on May 15, 1992. The place was Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Reynolds Street. He discovered a set of severely decomposed human remains, wrapped in a blanket in the basement.


Investigators determined the remains of a woman who was in her early 20s. She was about 26 weeks pregnant when she died. She was wearing a light blue or grey Windcrest jacket, a knit striped shirt, black sweatpants, pink Reebok sneakers, a gold-coloured braided necklace and a gold-coloured loop necklace with three-star charms. They estimated her deceased for six months or a year.

A makeshift bed found in the vacant basement led detectives to believe she was most likely a transient. She must illegally residing in the empty home. They buried her in Lindenwood Cemetery,, Fort Wayne on May 21, 1992 with the name of “Mary Jane Doe”.

Authorities started renewed efforts to solve the case in 2016. The case of Mary Jane Doe enlisted into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Authorities exhumed her body in 2017 for DNA testing. Forensic genetic genealogy research conducted for identifying family members of Mary Jane Doe. They included her late mother, her father and two aunts. DNA comparisons from her father confirmed her identity as Tabetha Ann Slain Murlin.


Little information is available about her life. However, her aunt adopted Tabetha or Mary Jane Doe. She would have been 23 years old when her body discovered.

Her aunt showed a marriage licence of Tabetha with Jerry Murlin in 1987. The couple separated in 1989. Authorities did not consider her ex spouse as a suspect.

Tabetha was a “free-spirit” described by a family friend. He told investigators that she never stayed at one place for long. Tabetha’s father described her as “something else and restless.” He expressed his shock to learn his daughter has passed away in such a tragic manner. Tabetha’s mother passed away in 2013.


“This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information on what led to Tabetha Murlin’s death should reach out to authorities at 260-427-1201, Fort Wayne Police Detective Bureau. Fort Wayne CrimeStoppers at 260-436-7867. Or report an anonymous tip using the P3Tips mobile app.”

New case by Fehmeeda Farid Khan

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About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

One comment

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