The Murder of Tammy Jo Alexander AKA The Caledonia Jane Doe
By Elise Haley
Nestled in Livingston County, New York, sits the little town of Caledonia. With a population of less than 5,000(based on a 2010 Census), murder was not a common occurrence. For 35 years, a murdered Jane Doe haunted the community. There were many questions surrounding Cali Doe (short for Caledonia Jane Doe). Who was she? What happened? Who killed her?
Shot twice, once in the head and once in the back, she was left to die in a field. Cali Doe was found on December 10, 1979. Due to heavy rains the night she was killed, most forensic evidence had been washed away. Cali Doe had tan lines, which told investigators she wasn’t from the area, or had at least been somewhere warmer long enough to have the tan lines. Forensic palynology, the study of the pollen on her clothing, pointed to California, Arizona or Florida. The identity of Cali Doe remained unknown and she was laid to rest in a cemetery in nearby Dansville, New York.
It wasn’t until 2015 when the ‘Who was she’ question would finally get an answer. A former high school classmate was searching for on old friend on social media, the friend in question was Tammy Jo Alexander. The friend was able to get in touch with Alexander’s half-sister, Pamela Dyson. According to the Wikipedia page, Tammy, sixteen at the time of her disappearance, frequently ran away from home. However, Dyson found that no one in the family had known of her whereabouts since one of Tammy’s departures sometime between 1977 and 1979. Tammy’s official missing date was December 10th, 1977.
Fearing the worst, the friend and Dyson filed a missing persons report with Hernando County sheriff’s office in August of 2014. While searching the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System(NamUs), Carl Koppelman, moderator of WebSleuths.com, found the report on Tammy Alexander. Koppelman had sketched the Caledonia Jane Doe in 2010, he immediately recognized the similarities and contacted the Livingston County sheriff’s office. In early 2015, DNA from the body was linked to Dyson and the body was officially identified as Tammy Jo Alexander.
Now that Tammy Jo Alexander has been identified as the victim, the questions of who killed her and why, still remain. If you or anyone you know has any information regarding the murder of Tammy Jo Alexander, please contact the Livingston County sheriff’s office at 585-243-7100.
There is a podcast about this case! Here is the link:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/finding-tammy-jo/id1103303877?mt=2
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Thanks for reading!