Ventura County Jane Doe (1980)

On the 18th of July, 1980, the body of a young woman was discovered in Westlake, California on the edge of a high school parking lot. The woman had been raped, stabbed and strangled to death. At the time, she was also pregnant with a baby boy who also sadly died.

In 2018, Wilson Chouest was charged with her murder and the murder of Shirley Soosay after DNA linked him to both murders. Wilson has denied knowing the women’s names.

It has been theorised that the woman was abducted from Los Angeles, Kern, Ventura or Tulare Counties. It’s also been suggested that the woman was taken to the scene from a long distance and that she may have been hitchhiking near the College of Sequoias in Visalia, California. It is unknown if this theory came from the result of a sighting.

The DNA Doe Project has released a list of surnames and locations of distant relatives of Jane Doe. The list is as follows:

Southern Texas (between San Antonio and Brownsville) and Northeastern Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon) the surnames: “Bermea”, “Cantu”, “Casares”, “DeLeon”, “Garcia”, “Garza”, “Gonzalez”, “Guerra-Canamar”, “Guevara”, “Leal”, “Quintanilla”, “Robles”, “Talamantes”, “Tijerina”, “Treviño”, “Vela”, “Villarreal” and “Zuñiga”.

Central Mexico (Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosi) the surnames: “Aguirre”, “Alvarez”, “Arriaga”, “Ayala”, “Bañuelos”, “Chavez,”, “Escobedo”, “Esquive”, “Perez”, “Rubio”, “Sustaita” and “Zavala”.

Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico with the surnames: “Cordova”, “Gallegos”, “Martin-Serrano”, “Martinez”, “Montoya”, “Peralta” and “Romero”.

Indigenous California with the surnames: “Rios”, “Uribes”, “Soto”, “Lara” and “Romero”.

Guatemala with the surname “Lopez”.

In 2021, investigators were able to identify the father of the unborn baby boy. The father was a Honduran immigrant with ties to the Central American community within the Koreatown District of Los Angeles. Despite this, the father was unable to give police any new information that could help give Jane Doe her identity back.

Ventura County Jane Doe is described as being a Hispanic/Native American/Asian female, who stood between 5″1′ and 5″3′ and weighed between 110-115pounds. She was between 15 and 30 years old at the time of her death, she had brown eyes and black hair that had been dyed blonde at the ends. Her ears were pierced.

Her natural eyebrows had been shaved and she had pencilled brown lines in their place, and they were about 1/4 inch above the natural location of her eyebrows. She was wearing a lot of mascara and had her fingernails painted red.

She was around 5 months pregnant with a baby boy and had likely had a child before as she had an episiotomy scar. She had some birthmarks on her face, a mole beneath her left index finger, two vaccination scars on her left arm and scars on her right knee.

Her ancestry revealed that she was 60% Native American, with some Hispanic and White ancestry. There was also a small amount of Asian heritage, and it’s likely she had a grandparent several generations ago from England or Ireland.

At the time of her death, Jane Doe was wearing a white blouse, black bra, white underwear, red corduroy pants and some open-top high-heeled shoes which were discovered nearby.

Whilst it is good news that her killer has been found and charged, Jane Doe still deserves her identity back.

Do you recognise her?

Reconstruction of Jane Doe in 2021. Credit: Unidentified Awareness Fandom / Carl Koppelman


Unsolved, Jane Doe, Unidentified, Cold Case, Murder, Homicide, Ventura County, 1980, California, Unidentified Person, True Crime

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