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Innovative Forensic: Pecos Jane Doe Case Solved After 55 Years

In 1966, a young woman drowned in a motel swimming pool in Pecos, Texas. With the aid of Innovative Forensic’s investigative genetic genealogy team, the identity of Pecos Jane Doe has been found.

Emporia, Va. (January 2021) – Innovative Forensic, an investigative genetic genealogy firm providing services to law enforcement, announce the resolution to a 55-year-old cold case out of Pecos, Texas.

On July 5, 1966, a young couple checked in to the Ropers Motel in Pecos, Texas, under the names Mr. and Mrs. Russell Battuon. The young couple, a male around 25-years old with blond hair and a slight build and the female, a young woman between 17 and 20-years old with long dark hair and large dark eyes had been seen around the pool earlier that day by motel employees. Later in the afternoon, while the male was in the room asleep a motel maid found the female unresponsive in the motel swimming pool. She was pulled from the water and taken to Reeves Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her male companion awoke during the commotion and taking everything in the room, including any possible identification of the victims, checked out of the motel and left. Police were unable to identify the victim or locate her male companion. With no dental records available and no fingerprint records in the FBI’s CODIS database, the case went cold for 55-years.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reached out to Innovative Forensic, a Virginia-based investigative genetic genealogy firm, to help aid the Pecos Police Department put the missing pieces of the Pecos Jane Doe puzzle together, for once and for all. The identity of the victim was announced in a press conference held by the Pecos Police Department Chief Lisa Tarango on Jan. 19, 2021, at 2 p.m. (CST) on the department’s Facebook page. Chief Tarango identified the victim as Jolaine Hemmy of Salina, Kansas.

“Corporal Felix Salcido, the Pecos Police Department, and I, are so pleased to have been able to meet with the Hemmy family in person, and virtually, to deliver the news to them about their missing family member,” Chief Lisa Tarango of the Pecos Police Department commented. “Although, the meeting was obviously bitter sweet for this beautiful family, this does allow for a small comfort in knowing about where she had been located. The family have mourned their missing sister for almost 55 years and are so thankful to all the entities and people who assisted our department, through this part of the investigation, knowing without them this would not have been possible. The genetic genealogy investigative team with Innovative Forensics, fortified this investigation with their ongoing day by day efforts of investigation into every lead that was developed.”

“Innovative Forensic worked closely with Chief Lisa Tarango on this case, providing her team with the investigative genetic genealogy to aid in identifying the victim,” Jennifer Moore, Co-founder and Senior Investigative Genetic Genealogist, said. “We want to thank Chief Tarango for her untiring and unwavering dedication to this case as well as our other collaborators, NCMEC, Gene by Gene and Othram. We are also grateful for the invaluable open-source databases FT DNA and GEDMatch. The process can only work with real team collaboration from all parties and the police department.”

Ryan Backmann, Innovative Forensic’s Media Relations and Spokesperson, summed up the resolution of the Pecos Jane Doe case, “Now, more than ever, families who have lost a loved one, whether through a violent crime or a disappearance, are finally able to have a resolution and bring their family member home. This is only possible through the advanced sciences of DNA analysis and the efforts of skilled genetic genealogists and our police force partners. The team at Innovative Forensic is honored to have given this family back their missing sister and aunt.”

Innovative Forensic works with law enforcement agencies from the submission of a case through conclusion, whether it is a violent crime, cold case, a missing person, living identification, or unidentified decedent. The team draws on years of experience in investigative genetic genealogy, legal, family and victim advocacy, and law enforcement.

To find out how Innovative Forensic can help your agency, visit or contact them directly.

About Innovative Forensic:

Innovative Forensic is an investigative genetic genealogy firm providing services to law enforcement agencies, working collaboratively through the entire lifecycle of the case, from submission to conclusion. Unique in the industry, Innovative Forensic combines years of expertise in the growing field of investigative genetic genealogy with a deep expertise in legal, law enforcement, and family advocacy. For more information, visit