Sheriff exhumes ‘Jane Doe’

BLUE EARTH – The Faribault County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on a 34-year-old murder, that of a female known only as Jane Doe.

On Tuesday, Jane Doe’s body was exhumed from Riverside Cemetery under the direction of the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies for further DNA testing, according to a press release.

Jane Doe was originally discovered on May 30, 1980, in rural Blue Earth in a drainage ditch along Interstate 90 between the Blue Earth and Frost exit.

Her killer, Robert Leroy Nelson, was an on-duty Minnesota State Patrol trooper who lured the apparent hitchhiker and confessed to the crime nine years later.

“Over the last 34 years, investigators from the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office have received hundreds to thousands of leads to compare missing females to our Jane Doe,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

“With new technology in mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA, Isotopic analysis and 3D imaging, the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension made the decision to have Jane Doe exhumed to establish an accurate record of her DNA profile to potentially match her to any of her family members that may be identified through DNA.”

Agencies assisting with the exhumation and investigation are Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, the Midwest Association of Forensic Scientists, a forensic anthropologist, Blue Earth Police Department, Patton Funeral Home, the Faribault County Attorney, G&S Drainage and Excavation, and the Riverside Cemetery maintenance and grounds crew.

“It is the intent of the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to keep the public informed as the case evolves,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “We ask anyone who may have any info about Jane Doe or this case please contact the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office.”