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152 South Kellogg St.
Galesburg, Illinois 61401
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Unsolved Crimes

 

 



   
   JANE DOE IDENTIFIED

 

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department announced today that the Jane Doe remains located in the East Galesburg Brickyards in May 1996 have been identified by DNA comparison.

According to friends and family of Helen “Ruth” Alps, her name was brought to the attention of authorities in the 1990’s when the remains were first found in the Brickyards.  At that time, Ruth had not been seen in the Knox County area since the late 1980’s.  Ruth was ruled out as a possible victim for unknown reasons.

With the release of new information in May 2013, Faye L. Phillips, a biological daughter of the missing Ruth Alps, provided a DNA standard for comparison to the profile established for the Jane Doe remains.

Kinship analysis was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Forensic Science Laboratory – St. Paul, using both the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA profiles obtained from the Jane Doe remains and Faye L. Phillips.  A report from MDPS concluded that the DNA comparison supported the biological mother-daughter relationship between Jane Doe and Faye L. Phillips.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into the disappearance and death of Helen “Ruth” Alps including an additional examination of the remains conducted at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.

It is believed that Ruth’s disappearance and subsequent death occurred sometime between the spring of 1988 and November 1991.  Ruth would have been between 47-50 years old at this time and driving a green, 1976 Ford LTD (4-door) with possible damage to the front driver’s side corner.

The Knox County Sheriff's Department is asking for anyone with information about Ruth Alps or had contact with her during this time period to contact Detective Sergeant Jason Landers at the Knox County Sheriff's Department at the Ruth Alps Tip Line number listed below.

Printable Press Release

Ruth Alps Informational Flyer

The Knox County Sheriff's Department was assisted by the following agencies:

East Galesburg Police Department
Knoxville Police Department
Galesburg Police Department
Illinois State Police
FBI Laboratory
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Lakewood Colorado Police Department
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
Deschutes County Sheriff's Department - Oregon
Bend Oregon Police Department
Nation Missing & Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) with special thanks to Dr. Emily Craig
University of North Texas Center for Human Identification 


2012 Facial Approximation Comparison:

Circa 1982 2012 Approximation October 1987

 


 

NamUS Unidentified Person Case #: 11209

NamUs Missing Person Case #: 20172


RUTH ALPS TIP LINE:

(309) 345-6790
or email
tips@knoxcountysheriffil.com 


This page is dedicated to the Investigation into the disappearance and death of Helen "Ruth" Alps whose remains were located in the East Galesburg Brickyards in 1996.

Check back regularly for updates and sign up for email alerts.

 

 


 The Knox County Sheriff's Department, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory and the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUS) have established an updated profile and facial approximation of "Jane Doe", the unidentified skeletal remains found in the East Galesburg Brickyard in 1996.


This is NOT a portrait of the deceased person.
This is an artist’s attempt to approximate the person’s original facial shape and proportion based on measurements of the skull.
In this particular instance the teeth are shown as if she was smiling in order to emphasize the overriding front teeth. 

Gender: Female
Race: Caucasian
Height: 4' 11" - 5' 5"
Weight: 130 - 160 lbs
Time Frame of Death: 1984 - 1996
Age at Time of Death: 55 - 85 years old


ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
:

  • Pronounced Overbite/Overjet*
  • Numerous Teeth Extracted Prior to Death*
  • Cavities & Tooth Decay Present at the Time of Death* 
  • Likelihood of Osteoarthritis
  • Likelihood of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH)
  • Light "reddish/brown" hair (as reported in 1st anthropological examination).

* Dental x-rays on file

CLOTHING & ADDITIONAL ITEMS RECOVERED:

  • KangaROOS brand "Snow Jogger" boots. Tan, size 8 (not manufactured until 1984).
  • Light colored, "SEARS" brand polyester pants (unknown size)
  • White, "Laurie Mae" blouse. Black & Red pinstriped with lace & ruffles down the front.
  • Blue, zip-up hooded sweatshirt.
  • White bra & underwear.
  • White/Yellow "pom-pom" socks.
  • Brown plastic trash bag worn as a protective smock.
  • Brown leather zipper pouch, small clear plastic bag & 9 other trash bags (folded).

KangaROOS "Snow Jogger" style boots

KangaROOS "Snow Jogger" style boots

KangaROOS retail add circa 1984

KangaROOS retail add circa 1984

"Laurie Mae" blouse & blue zip-up hoodie

"Laurie  Mae" blouse

White & Yellow "Pom-Pom" socks

 

Kilns at the East Galesburg Brickyard

Kiln at the East Galesburg Brickyard

Kiln at the East Galesburg Brick Yard


If you believe you know the identity of or are a relative of Jane Doe, please contact the Knox County Sheriff's Department for instructions on how to submit comparison DNA.

If you have a friend, loved one or family member who is missing but you do not believe is Jane Doe, you can still contact the Knox County Sheriff's Department for instructions on how to make the missing person's report and/or submit DNA.
 

Contact:
Detective Sergeant Jason Landers
Investigations Division
Knox County Sheriff's Department
(309) 345-6790




TIME LINE:

 



September 10th, 2013:

A press conference is held at the Knox County Sheriff's Department announcing the identification of Jane Doe as being the Missing Person Ruth Alps.  

Investigators request the public's help in providing information on Ruth Alps during the 1988-1991 time frame.

 


August 22nd, 2013:

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety issues a report on the kinship analysis conducted on both the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of Jane Doe and Faye L. Phillips (daughter of Ruth Alps).  The results conclude that the DNA comparison supported the biological mother-daughter relationship between Jane Doe and Faye L. Phillips.  Jane Doe is identified and Ruth Alps is located.

 


Summer 2013:

Sheriff's Investigators begin to locate and interview friends, family and associates of Ruth Alps.  Investigators learn that Ruth's last known address was at the Belle Isle Apartments (#46), 1470 N. West Street, Galesburg.  It was also learned that Ruth was possibly driving a green, 1976 Ford LTD (4-door) at the time she went missing.

Investigators believe that Ruth disappeared and died some time between the Spring 1988 and November 1991. 

 


May 16th, 2013:

A DNA standard is obtained from a daughter of Helen "Ruth" Alps. The standard is sent to the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas for profiling and comparison.

 


May 15th, 2013:

Sheriff's Investigators contact the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas and request an additional forensic anthropological examination of the remains in an attempt to gain further information on several findings reported during the FBI's examination. 


May 5th, 2013:

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department is attempting to locate a missing person in conjunction with the East Galesburg Brickyard Jane Doe investigation.

Late last week, the Sheriff’s Department received information about a local woman who has not been seen or heard from by her family since the late-80’s or 1990.  The woman, Helen “Ruth” Alps (maiden name Edwards) was last seen by her ex-husband in the Knox County area.  A daughter last spoke with her by telephone around this same time and invited her to move to Oregon.  Ruth was in her late 40’s at the time of last contact in Knox County.

Helen “Ruth” Alps (who always went by “Ruth”) was described as being a nature lover who enjoyed the outdoors.  According to friends and family, Alps frequently took nature walks in the East Galesburg Brickyards.  During her adult life, Ruth Alps lived at 210 S. Market in Knoxville until her divorce in 1984/85.  She then rented a house at RR#2 Box 20, Wataga.  Ruth Alps may have also lived at 1470 N. West St, Apt #46, Galesburg after 1987.

Ruth Alps was described as being short in stature (5’02” - 5’04”) and heavy set (weight fluctuating from 225 – 275 lbs) although she may have lost weight in the years before her disappearance. Ruth had light blue eyes and dishwater blonde to brown hair, which she may have colored. Ruth had missing and poorly cared for teeth.  Ruth would now be 72 years old.

The Sheriff’s Department was informed by family and friends that case of the missing Ruth Alps had been brought to the attention of Investigators during the initial Jane Doe investigation in the mid-90’s. For reasons unknown, Alps was ruled out as a possible victim in lieu of Lula Cora Hood.

 

 

Circa 1986 - 45 years old

 

Unknown Year & Age


October 1987

 

  

Circa 1986 at Age 45



May 1st, 2013:
The updated information and a new facial approximation of Jane Doe are released to the public. 


The Sheriff's Department is particularly interested in speaking with the following people at this time:

  •  Former employees of the Galesburg State Research Hospital/Galesburg Mental Health Center especially between 1980 and the date the facility closed.
  • Dental Professionals who may have provided dental care to residents of this facility between 1980 and the date the facility closed.
  • Anyone associated with a charitable or other organization that provided food, clothing or shelter to homeless or disadvantaged people between the mid 1980's and mid 1990's.
  • Anyone with a female friend or family member missing between 1980 and 1996 

Early 2013:
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) is contacted for assistance.  NamUS provides the Sheriff's Department with on-line resources and access to a network of experts in the fields of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology.  NamUS arranges for a dental examination and x-rays by an area dentist as well as a Forensic Odontologist.

 


Late 2012:
Photos and a model of the 2012 facial approximation are received by the Sheriff’s Department.

 


August 2011:
A report reflecting the results of the FBI’s Anthropological Exam is received by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.  The facial approximation is pending.

 


July 2011:
A person believed to be Lula Cora Hood is located in Jacksonville, Florida. DNA standards from this person are compared to those of Lula Cora Hood's daughters at an independent laboratory.  Lula Cora Hood's identity is confirmed by DNA and she is reunited with her family.

 


June 2011:
Nuclear DNA testing confirms the earlier mitochondrial DNA results.

The Sheriff's Department requests the assistance of the FBI Laboratory in conducting a second anthropological examination of the remains.
 

 


May 2008:
Mitochondrial DNA test conducted at the FBI Laboratory show that the remains found in the East Galesburg Brickyard in 1996 DO NOT match the known standards of the family members of Lula Cora Hood.  Additional confirmatory DNA (nuclear) testing is schedule by the FBI Laboratory.

The investigation is re-opened with only limited amounts of information from the original case.

 


January 2008:
Family members of Lula Cora Hood contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and request an opportunity to submit their DNA standard for comparison to those of the remains recovered in 1996.  Standards from known family members are submitted to the FBI Laboratory along with several bones from the East Galesburg remains.

 


1998:
A facial approximation is completed and the remains are identified as being that of Lula Cora Hood, although the possibility of future DNA confirmation is not ruled  out.  For all intent and purposes, the Case is Closed…

 


May, 1996 -1998:
Investigators continue their investigation into the identity of “Jane Doe”.  DNA testing is not available at the time. A clay facial approximation is created.  Investigators believe the remains are those of one Lula Cora Hood, a white female who has not been seen since 1970.

 


Monday, May 6th, 1996:
Knox County Investigators and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigators exhume the body and conduct an examination of the remains.  The remains are determined to be that of a white (Caucasian) female, 50-75 years of age.

 


Sunday, May 5th, 1996:
Unidentified skeletal remains are discovered inside a kiln in the abandoned Purington Paver Brickyards, East Galesburg, Illinois.  Knox County Sheriff’s Department Investigators and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigators respond to the scene.

 





 
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