Baby Jane Doe: Alabama police identify remains found in 2012 and charge her father with murder


Police in Opelika, Alabama, have arrested and charged the father of a young girl whom investigators affectionately call “Baby Jane Doe” since her unidentified remains were found in 2012, authorities announced Thursday.

Lamar Vickerstaff, Jr., 50, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of his daughter Amore Joveah Wiggins, who would have been about 6 when she died, the Opelika Police Department said in a news release.

Vickerstaff’s wife, Ruth Vickerstaff, was also arrested and charged with failing to report a missing child, police said.

CNN has yet to determine if either of them has an attorney.

Investigators have been trying to identify Amore’s remains since they were found at a trailer park in January 2012, police said. A skull was found in the yard of an apartment building and most of the bones were found in nearby woods, the press release said. Police also found a pink T-shirt and a small curly lock of hair.

Lamar Vikerstaff

The remains were sent to an FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, where examiners determined they belonged to a black girl, between the ages of 4 and 7, police said. Investigators believe she was killed between the summer of 2010 and 2011, the press release said.

An autopsy revealed the child suffered more than 15 fractures to his skull, arms, legs, shoulders and ribs, all of which resulted from blunt force trauma, the press release said. The injuries showed all signs of healing and police said they occurred sometime before her death. A coroner also concluded she may have been malnourished and blind in her left eye from a fractured eye socket, police said.

In October, investigators used DNA genealogy to identify Lamar Vickerstaff as the father of baby Jane Doe, police said.

When investigators visited the Vickerstaffs’ home in Jacksonville, Fla., to inform the father of her death, the father did not give them the child’s name or any information about his identity, police said. Ruth Vickerstaff, who has been married to Lamar since 2006, told police she never knew the child and didn’t know who her mother might be, according to the publication.

Ruth Vickerstaff

In December, investigators narrowed possible matches for the girl’s mother to Sherry Wiggins, who confirmed she had given birth to the child in January 2006 and named her Amore Joveah Wiggins, the press release said. She also said the Vickerstaffs gained sole custody of Amore in 2009, sources said.

After contacting schools and children’s hospitals in several states where the Vickerstaffs had lived, detectives learned that Amore had never been enrolled in a school or reported missing, police said.

Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff were arrested Tuesday in Jacksonville and are being held at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office pending extradition to Alabama, the release said.

The investigation is ongoing and police have asked the public to report any information regarding the Vickerstaffs’ relationship with Amore or their time in Opelika.