Michigan State Police are reopening the case of a woman known only as “196 Jane,” whose skeletal remains were found near Covert along I-196 in Van Buren County in October 1988. Her remains showed signs of Osteopenia according to Detective Sergeant Scott Ernstes.
“It’s basically a precursor to Osteoporosis. It’s pretty unique that it’s in such a young person is what they told me,” says Ernstes. “There are several causes from eating disorders through other medical conditions.”
The woman is believed to have been between 18 and 30 and her remains had likely been along the highway for about three to four months. Other than Osteopenia, Ernstes says the woman was in good health and likely had at least one child prior to her death. She was five-feet tall, about 100 pounds with brown hair and there was evidence she hadn’t seen a dentist for a few years.
“It just came to the point where we’ve got the case file and have other ones and we’re picking through the old ones of the unidentified, and we’re trying to make sure all of them get a fresh look,” says Ernstes. A case profile has been posted on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System database. Anyone who has any information about a young woman who disappeared in 1988 is urged to call the Paw Paw post of the Michigan State Police.