The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying four bodies whose cases date back as early as 1993.
The body of Jane Doe was found on June 3, 1993 on Highway 152 near Casa de Fruta in southern Santa Clara County. Her alleged killer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, said he picked her up at a truck stop near Corning, California along Interstate 5, strangled her at a rest stop in Williams, California, and dumped her body in a turnout on westbound Highway 152.
Jesperson told police he believed her name to be Carla (or Karla), the coroner’s office says, and that she told him she was from the Sacramento area.
“Carla” is believed to have been in her late 30s or early 40s at the time of her death. She was Caucasian or Latina, about 5 feet tall, weighed 130 pounds and had a 5-inch scar on her abdomen, likely the result of gall bladder surgery.
The coroner’s office says it’s likely “Carla” was a transient. She did have some dental work done, but her teeth were deteriorating from lack of care and she was dressed in the style of a homeless person.
Anyone with information on “Carla’s” identity is asked to contact Det. Ron Breuss of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department at (408) 808-4500.
John Doe No. 94-143-003 is male Caucasian who was found shot to death in front of a home at 466 Bell Street in East Palo Alto just before 1 a.m. on May 23, 1994, the coroner’s office reports. Police responded to the residence on a report of shots fired and discovered the body. The victim was transported to Stanford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He is described as being in his early 40s with brown eyes and black hair. He was between 5-feet-7 inches and 5-feet-9-inches tall, 157-172 pounds, and is believed to be Caucasian. Police said he found fully clothed in a black leather jacket, white button-down shirt, black leather belt, black denim jeans, black cowboy boots and a black “cowboy style” hat. He may have gone by the nickname “Spider,” and his occupation may have been “drug dealer,” according to police.
Anyone with information on his identity is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office at (408) 793-1900.
The county sheriff’s office issued a request for help in identifying John Doe No. 98-042-002 back on February 26, 2009. This John Doe was located by the CHP on the 7thStreet ramp at southbound Highway 280 in San Jose on February 11, 1998. It appeared he had been hit by a car.
The victim was about 24 years old at the time of his death and had on a hospital bracelet with the name “Gonzalo Perez,” though this identity has never been confirmed.
“The decedent’s fingerprints were taken and run through the state and federal systems with negative results,” said Sgt. Don Morrissey, then-Public Information Officer with the sheriff’s department.
The victim is described as being about 5-feet-3-inches tall and weighing about 125 pounds with brown hair and eyes. His race is listed as Caucasian, but he may be of Hispanic heritage, the coroner’s office reports. At the time of his death, he had two upper molars with crowns and extreme tooth decay.
Anyone with information on his identity is asked to contact the coroner’s office at (408) 793-1900.
The fourth unidentified body being housed by the medical examiner is that of John Doe No. 02-04408, whose skeletal remains were located at Grant Ranch Park in the Mt. Hamilton area of unincorporated San Jose. The site was on the Los Huecos Trial in an area known as Lakeside, according to the coroner and it is believed this John Doe died between 1998 and 2000.
The man’s cause of death remains undetermined, due to the extreme decomposition of his body, and his hair and eye colors are unknown. Investigation revealed that the 40- to 60-year-old man had severe arthritis in his right shoulder, which was the result of an “antemortem traumatic event.” His left arm was approximately two inches shorter than the right when his body was found.
According to the medical examiner, the victim was about 5-feet-11-inches tall and was wearing a black turtleneck sweater, brown work pants, green socks, brown hiking boots, and a two-toned blue and beige ski cap, all of which were found with his remains.
A forensic artist created a skull reconstruction to help in identifying the man, who might have gone by “J.M. Lacey.” That name was found stitched inside the waistband of his pants. A Helbros “Countdown” watch and silver cigarette case monogrammed with “JOB” were also located with the body. That type of cigarette case was discontinued by the manufacturer in the mid-1980s.
Anyone who might be able to recognize this man is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office at (408) 792-1900.