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Barstow Jane Doe was a female whose head was found in a backpack alongside State Highway 58 in Barstow, California in 2010.

In September 2021, it was announced that the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office had been working with Barbara Rae-Venter in order to identify the decedent. DNA testing has confirmed she has Hispanic ancestry and she has distant relatives in Mexico.


A man looking for cans along Lenwood Road, south of Barstow, found a black backpack and opened it to find the severed head of an unidentified female. The head was wrapped in two plastic bags: one from Walgreens and the other from Fiesta Foods. No fingerprints were obtained from the backpack or bags.

Since most of her body is missing, her cause of death remains undetermined, and it wasn't even able to be conclusively proven that she was actually murdered. However, in addition to her decapitation and disposal, there is extremely strong evidence of foul play in her death. Evidently, her face was in "very poor condition" as a result of being intentionally mutilated by the person who dismembered her body. The nature of these injuries is not known, but apparently, they were so extensive that members of law enforcement have said that the facial reconstructions may be unreliable due to the fact that her face was "destroyed". Authorities believe that she may have fallen victim to a serial killer.

Her dental records were taken, and they showed that she had many fillings and she received good dental health care.

39 women have been ruled out as being the decedent.


  • She had straight dark-brown hair, medium length with reddish highlights.
  • Brown eyes
  • Pierced ears with no earrings present
  • Extensive dental care, including many fillings.