This month’s Doe case is going to be fairly short, but it is incredibly close to home so I feel incredibly compelled to cover it, especially since the DNA Doe Project has taken on the case. Let’s explore the case of the Ada Bones Jane Doe.
Ada, Michigan is a small town on the west side of the lower peninsula of the state. It is about fifteen minutes east of the city of Grand Rapids. A maintenance worker was picking up trash at a park in Ada on July 31, 1997. He, unfortunately, found far more than the expected litter. Human remains were found scattered among the woods behind some park buildings. The remains were examined by a specialized anthropological team from Western Michigan University, and they were able to discern that the remains had belonged to an unknown Black biologically female person. At the time of their death, they were between 5’3” and 5’7” tall and were somewhere between age 20 and 30 at the time of their death. Their teeth were not in good shape. The team also determined, based on decomposition and other forensic factors, that the person had died sometime between March and August of 1996. Ada Bones Doe was given a forensic reconstruction by Sarah Krebs in 2009.
There are currently nine missing persons ruled out as being the Ada Bones Doe – Kathleen Dennis, who went missing from Kent County, MI on July 10, 1995; Lisa Jameson, who went missing from Maricopa County, AZ on November 4, 1991; Virginia Rambus, who went missing from King County, WA on May 20, 1985; Tonya Clemmons, who went missing from King County, WA on November 5, 1983; Laronda Bronson, who went missing from Multnomah County, OR on November 19, 1982; Gladys WIlliams, who went missing from King County, WA on February 20, 1970; Barbara Jolly, who went missing from King County, WA on August 22, 1976; Ehonda Burse, who went missing from King County, WA on August 8,1977; and Jennifer Barton, who went missing from Travis County, TX on May 16, 1976. I’m not sure why there’s this trend of missing persons a) from Washington State and b) who went missing a decade or more prior to the Doe’s estimated time of death. I can’t find anything in my research to explain this.
After combing through the Charley Project and NamUs, I’ve found two possible identities for Ada Bones Jane Doe. As always, it is a possibility that Ada Bones Doe was not reported missing and thus cannot be found in any database. Anyway, onwards. The first possibility is Fonda Lockridge. Fonda went missing from Grand Rapids, MI on June 15, 1995. She was 5’4” and weighed around 110 lbs at the time of her disappearance. She fits the height range of Ada Bones Doe and she also fits the date range. Additionally, Ada is not far at all from Grand Rapids. However, it’s hard to tell if the reconstruction bears a resemblance to Fonda, as the only picture I can find of her is from the side.
Sara Ann Drane is another possibility, though a slightly less strong one. Sara went missing from Detroit, MI on March 13, 1995. She is at the older end of the age range and the shorter end of the height range, but it’s still a possibility. Unfortunately, all the photos I could find of Sara were very blurry, so it’s hard to say whether they resemble the reconstruction.
If you have any information regarding the identity of the Ada Bones Jane Doe, please reach out to the appropriate authorities. You can reach the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6136, and ask to speak with Dustin Cook, the officer on the case. He can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The DNA Doe Project asks that you do not submit tips to them and instead contact the agency directly.