On May 14th, 1991, a semi-tractor truck trailer was heading southbound on Interstate 5 along Washington’s West Side when it crashed into another semi-tractor truck just outside of Kalama. This crash caused an explosion, which ended up killing two people.
One person was identified as the driver of the semi-tractor truck, Lester Dean Harvel, a 26-year-old long-haul truck driver who had left Missouri on the 7th of May. But his female companion, who was severely burnt, is still unknown.
The Jane Doe was named Helen Doe by investigators due to Mount St.Helen in the distance of the crash site. She was described as being a Native woman in her 20s, around 5ft1 to 5ft4 inches tall, and weighing between 110 to 130 pounds. She had high cheekbones, dark hair, a dark complexion and a gap in her lower front teeth.
In her lifetime, she had a lot of dental work done. She also had scoliosis and most likely would have walked with a limp.
She was last seen wearing Levis, a grey shirt underneath a black cowboy vest, feather earing, and many rings. Police released this sketch as a way to help identify her.
By using receipts, police were able to track Lester’s whereabouts before the crash.
He left Villa Ridge in Missouri on May 7th, and on May the 8th he could have been in Concordia in Missouri. Lester was then in Limo, Colorado, on May the 9th. He then fueled up in Rock Springs, Wyoming in the early afternoon on the 10th of May, and reached Boise, Idaho later the same day. On May 12th, Lester reached Baker City, Oregon. On May 14th, Lester dropped off his load in Tacoma, Washington.
In January 2022, police released an updated version of the sketch of Helen Doe. They hope that by realising this image, someone will be able to come forward and identify her. Helen Doe remains at the Cowlitz County Corner’s Office, and DNA, dental records and X-rays are available.
If you, or someone you know, recognises her, please contact the Washington State Patrol Cold Case team on 425-401-7740, or email Stacy.Moate@wsp.wa.gov, with case number reference 00-004956.
Unsolved, Unidentified, Mystery, Investigation