Unidentified Wiki

Jewell Parchman "Lalla" Langford, formerly known as the "Nation River Lady" (March 30, 1927 - April 1975) was an American-born businesswoman found murdered in Ontario in 1975. Her body was located in the river for which she was nicknamed in Casselman, Ontario.

Langford was originally from Tennessee, and she had later relocated to Montreal. Rodney Nichols, described as an "acquaintance" of the victim, has been charged with her death in September 2022. The identification occurred on an unspecified date in 2020, and it was publicly announced in July 2023.


The body was found floating face down in the Nation River around 100 yards from the Highway 417 bridge by a farmer. The victim had been strangled to death with a cable and a kitchen towel was knotted at the back of her neck to create a ligature. Decomposition had taken place, yet she was described to be in somewhat of a recognizable state.

Blood was found on the bridge and it was confirmed to belong to the unidentified woman. Investigators originally thought the blood suggested she was thrown off the bridge and was in the Nation River between a week to a month before she was found. However, a 2005 re-examination extended the possible date of death to as early as the late summer of 1974.


Langford was last seen on or after April 20, 1975; authorities began the inquiry into her disappearance during the following month. While living in the United States, she worked alongside her husband, Atlas in the health and wellness field. The couple divorced prior to her departure to Canada.

After the body was discovered, a store clerk in Marmora, Ontario, claimed to remember selling a tie to a couple consisting of a man and woman, although the store clerk couldn't remember the date of the sale. The woman matched the victim and the man was only described as 5'4" to 5'6" and around 35 years old. The man has not been confirmed to match the description of the suspect in the case.

The then-unidentified woman was buried in a Toronto cemetery in 1987. In her home state in America, Langford's family had a tombstone placed in her memory. The investigation eventually went cold; it was reopened in both 2005 and 2017 with the release of an updated 3D reconstruction and assistance by the DNA Doe Project. Over 300 missing persons were ruled out as potential identities.

Rodney Nichols, a current resident of Florida, was charged in September 2022. The breakthrough was intended to be announced following his planned extradition back to Canada, but was announced in July 2023.


  • Her shoulder length hair was recently dyed a reddish blond but her natural hair colour was a dark brown.
  • She had extensive dental work but her teeth were in poor condition.
    • Most of the natural teeth had needed fillings.
    • She had a noticeable gap between her two front teeth.
    • Stains on her teeth suggested she could've been a coffee drinker, a smoker, or both.
    • She had partial dentures and porcelain teeth on both jaws.
      • It was originally believed that the dentures were manufactured outside of Canada, but recent information suggests that the type of dentures the woman had were commonly used in southern Ontario.
  • She had an appendectomy scar.
  • There were no signs of previous childbirth or carried out a pregnancy.
  • Her fingernails and toenails were well taken care of and painted bright pink or red with nail polish.
  • She had webbed toes.

Clothing and accessories[]

  • The only clothing the woman was wearing was a blue bodysuit.
  • A curtain rod runner was found in her left armpit.
  • The cable used to strangle the woman was a flat plastic covered television cable with splatters of grey paint. It was manufactured in Renfrew, Ontario, and sold in eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.
  • Two men's neckties were used to bind the woman's ankles and one necktie was used to bind her hands.
    • One tie was striped three different shades of blue.
    • One tie was red, grey, and white with a diamond shaped pattern.
    • The most unique necktie was known as the "Canada Tie," which was blue, red, and had three Canadian emblems. The tie was manufactured in Montreal, and sold at stores in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.
  • Several towels:
    • Two green fringed towels that measured 70" by 48" were wrapped around the woman's head.
    • A red and white "Irish Toast" tea towel that was sold for $1.39 CAN. The towel was manufactured in Ireland, exported to Toronto, Ontario and sold at stores in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.
    • A red and white "J Cloth" brand towel.
    • An orange, yellow, and green towel with flowers on it that measured 70" by 40".




  1. The potential match was made and confirmed on unspecified dates in 2020.