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Istanbul Jane Doe was a young woman whose legs were found in the waters next to the Eminönü Port in Istanbul, Turkey. She is suspected to be the victim of a serial killer.

Authorities suspect that she may be Sevim Işık, a missing sex worker who operated in the areas of Aksaray and Taksim. Though, they are unable to confirm if the decedent is Işık.

Case

Early on the morning of May 19th, 2000, the crew on a boat docking at the Eminönü Port noticed the sound of something bumping against their vessel. The captain of the crew would go to investigate this sound and discovered a leg floating in the water next to their boat. At first, he believed the leg to have belonged to a mannequin until he poked the leg with a hook. Upon discovering the leg belonged to a human body, the captain called for authorities while a member of the crew spotted a second leg nearby. Authorities would search the area for any remaining body parts, though were only able to retrieve the pair of legs.

During the autopsy, it was discovered that the legs had been submerged in the salty waters of the sea for a maximum of 10 days with the manner of the cut being unclear due to decomposition. Missing person reports from the area were scoured and investigators found that the description of the legs matched the description of a local sex worker named Sevim Işık. Authorities attempted to contact her family to confirm that the legs belonged to her, though her family was unable to be found.

Between 2000 and 2001 the severed legs of 8 people would be found in areas in and around Istanbul, Turkey, with only one victim being identified. Almost all of the victims were female, save for two male victims. It was often noted that the perpetrator had clean surgical precision when severing the legs from the bodies of their victims and was able to lure away a victim in an area that experienced high traffic during the day. Additionally, it is suspected that most of the killer's victims were sex workers. As of 2021, the statute of limitations on the case has run out and Turkish police have shelved the case indefinitely.

Despite the expiration of the statute of limitations, it has recently been suspected that Mustafa Murat Ayhan, a man who brutally murdered and dismembered a college student before discarding her remains in different areas, is responsible for the murders from 2000 & 2001. Though, it is unlikely Ayhan will ever be questioned about the case.

Characteristics

  • Described as being well-groomed.
  • Toenails were painted with dark red nail polish.

Sources

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