‘Woodlawn Jane Doe’ identified as Alexandria teen 45 years after her murder

A young woman known as “Woodlawn Jane Doe,” after the area in Baltimore County where her body was found 45 years ago, has been identified as a teenager from Alexandria, Virginia.

Margaret Fetterolf’s body was found Sept. 12, 1976, in the 5600 block of Dogwood Road, near the Lorraine Park Cemetery in Woodlawn. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted. She was 16 years old when she was killed, and her family told police that she went missing in 1975.

“By knowing Margaret’s identity, detectives are now one step closer to catching the people responsible for her murder,” the Baltimore County police said in a news release.

A witness recalled a white van in the area, and said that the body was dumped between 9:20 a.m. and 10:20 a.m.

Margaret Fetterolf. (Courtesy Baltimore County police)

Fetterolf’s body was found along a cemetery access road, and police said that she had been bound, beaten, strangled and raped. Chlorpromazine was found in her system, which may have been used to sedate her, police said.

Among the items police found were one of her shoes and two sets of keys on a safety pin in a pocket. She was also wearing a rawhide necklace with a turquoise bead.

In the beginning, police said, detectives relied on simple sketches to generate leads in the case. As advances in DNA testing became available, they found new ways to pursue the case in hopes of identifying the body.

In 2006, a police update showed a sketch of the victim and said that she may have had a connection with Massachusetts. Detectives also requested evidence to be tested, and while semen was detected, it would be several years before another break in the case.

With help from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, pollen testing was done in 2015, which took Baltimore County detectives to the Boston area. A scientist identified a blend of cedar and mountain hemlock pollen, which authorities said suggested a connection to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.

The next year, 40 years since the body was found, the center released a new facial reconstruction image of her.

Anyone who may have more information about this case is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020.

You can see a timeline of the case here. (Editor’s note: some of the images below may be disturbing to some readers.)

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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