Identified: Sumter County Does

          So, you’re all getting another bonus post this month – I’d planned to take a short break after the Bundy series but something came up. There has been big news in the true crime community, and you all probably have heard about it by now: Sumter County Jane and Jock Doe have their names back. This news broke on January 21st, but I wanted to wait a few days to see what news came out. The DNA Doe Project worked with authorities to use the relatively new investigative method of genetic genealogy to get the Sumter County Does their names back. This post will examine what we know about who each person was in life, as we examined the case in depth in April 2020. Let’s explore.

Jane Doe – Pamela Buckley

          Pamela Buckley was born on December 16, 1951 in Redwood County, Minnesota. She was reported missing from Colorado Springs, Colorado in December of 1975. Prior to her disappearance she was involved with the Redwood Jaycees. If you’re not sure what the Jaycees are, they’re a civic organization that aims to teach leadership skills to their members and improve their communities. In February of 1970, Pamela was crowned the Redwood Jaycees “Sno-Queen.” She would have been up for the role in the following year as well, but she stepped down in order to travel with her band, which was named Sunlending. The band played folksy music and had two other members. The tour took them up and down the west coast. I can’t find anything to say why Pamela was in Colorado Springs at the time of her disappearance, so it may or may not have something to do with her band touring.

(Photos of Pamela Buckley (left) and James Freund (right), taken at unknown dates.
via the State)

Jock Doe – James Freund

          James Freund was born in 1946 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He was the only child of Loretta and Adam Freund, He graduated from McCaskey High School, located in Lancaster, PA, in 1964. In July of that year, he enlisted in the Army, and completed Basic Training at Fort Knox. He then went on to undergo Automotive Repair Training in 1965 at Ordnance Proving Ground. James married a woman (whose name is out there, but I don’t think dragging it into this tragedy is necessarily productive) in December of 1965 and the two apparently had children together, based on the fact that James was ordered to pay child support after their 1971 divorce. He was reported missing on Christmas Day of 1975 and records show that his family had him declared legally dead sometime in the 1980s. He was 30 years old at the time of his murder.

Remaining Questions

          First things first, I want to say that I can understand how neither of these missing persons were on the radar as being possible matches for Jane and Jock Doe. I’ve looked through all my avenues of research and I can’t find anything on them, which leads me to believe that their disappearances were either not publicized or not taken seriously. Kudos to the DNA Doe Project, as always, for giving these Does their names back.
          Now, even though we now have some answers in this case, there are still so many questions left. How did Pamela and James meet? How did they end up in Sumter County? And, most importantly, who murdered Pamela and James on August 9, 1976? Hopefully tying Pamela and James to the Does is just the first step in a fruitful investigation. Hopefully answers come soon.

Investigating Agencies

           If you or someone you know has any information regarding the murder of Pamela Buckley and James Freund, please contact the proper authorities. Even if you think it’s something inconsequential. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 803-436-2790 in reference to case number 76672 Sumter SO. The National Crime Information Center case number is U-240001056. The NamUs case number is 13772. Pamela and James have gotten their names back after over 40 years, but justice for their murders is the next step. If you know something, come forward.


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