Tammy Jo Alexander, born 2nd November, 1963, was found deceased in a cornfield in Caledonia, New York. She was found on the 10th November, 1979 and had been shot in the head, and then again in the back the night before by a .38 caliber handgun. At the time of her death, Tammy was 16 years old.
As police found no identification with her bod, she became known as the “Cali Doe”, a name she would keep for 35 years before being identified when Carl Koppelman, a califorinan artist, came across Tammy’s missing file online. Koppelman had sketched the portrait of “Cali Doe” just four years prior, and he quickly realised that they were the same person.
Tammy’s half-sister, Pamela Dyson, let officers take DNA from her to see if it was a match to the unidentified body. The DNA results were a match, and on the 26th January, 2015, the Livingstone Police Department confirmed the identity of “Cali Doe.”
Pamela said that Tammy would often run away from home, often hitchhiking with truckers at the truck stop her mother used to work at. Pamela also commented that Tammy’s home life was “turbulent” and that her mother, Barbara Jenkins, was addicted to prescription drugs and would often have temper tantrums. Tammy’s father was not involved in her life.
Before being identified, Pamela thought that Tammy had just run away to start a new life: “I thought she just wanted to go away and start all over.”
Whilst the identification of Tammy has brought some closure to her family and the community, the question of who killed her still remains unknown.
Tammy was seen eating dinner with a man in a diner before she was killed, but the man she was with remains unknown. He is described as being a white male, between 5″8′ and 5″9′, he was wearing black wire-rimmed glasses and drove a tan station wagon. Police have stated that he is a “person of interest” in the case, and continue to try and uncover his identity. A sketch of him can be found below.
In 1984, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to her murder but police were unable to find any evidence supporting his claim, and it was therefore seen as a false confession.
Investigators also thought Christopher Wilder, known for murdering women during the 1980s, could have been responsible for Tammy’s death. They thought this because the jacket Tammy was found wearing was made by the same brand Wilder was known to purchase. However, before investigators could interview Wilder about Tammy, he was killed in a police shoot out in 1984.
Tammy’s case remains open, and the FBI and Livingston County Sheriff’s Department are working tirelessly to find out who is responsible for Tammy’s death. The FBI is offering a reward for up to $20,000 for any information that results in the arrest and conviction of Tammy’s killer(s).
Unsolved, USA, True Crime, Mystery