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Prato Jane Doe was a woman who was found hanged in a tree along the Via di Cavagliano in Prato, Italy. She may be a foreigner and had a connection to the Danish Royal Family.

Case

On the morning of the 13th of November, 2007, a passerby discovered a woman hanging in an olive tree in a field along the Via di Cavaglino in Prato, Tuscany, Italy. Immediately, police were called and authorities closed off the scene with an instant investigation. Detectives concluded that the decedent had not been deceased for very long, proposing that she likely had taken her life between 4 AM and 7 AM. A large bin had been found near her body, likely having been used by her to hoist herself up into the tree before hanging herself. A bag was found hanging near her in the tree as well, with a woollen coat carefully folded at the base of the tree. Within the bag were many scientific journals, transportation tickets, magazines, newspapers, maps, coupons, a French greeting card signed by a "Roberta" and "Michel", potato flatbread from a bakery in Tuscany, a soft drink, vitamin supplements, an official envelope from the Danish Royal Family, and a postcard of Turkey.

With a lack of family or friends to claim her body, the decedent was buried and placed in a grave marked as "Ignota", or "unknown" in English. No Italian hotel had reported any unclaimed luggage that may belong to her and no one seemed to recognize her at that time. In 2008, her DNA was collected and submitted to archives for comparison in northern Europe and Canada, but no matches have been reported. That same year, a psychologist from San Marino known as "Doctor Pelagalli" claimed to have seen her at a conference in Florence at the Villa Viviani. He recalled noticing her due to a unique pair of sunglasses she had, alongside her speaking Italian but with a noticeable foreign accent. She had been carrying scientific publications with her throughout the conference, participating in many talks, and asking questions about computer science and laser technology. She is reported to have claimed she was a medical doctor when asked by Pelagalli about her profession and also seemed to be uncomfortable and sweating excessively throughout the conference. Whenever Pelagalli questioned her further on her profession, she is said to have only answered in single-syllable nouns.

According to Pelagalli's recollection, the conference was invite-only and neither he nor the decedent were speakers. The organizers though mentioned that she could have simply been interested in the subject matter and followed the lectures for more information. After the conference which was claimed to have been operating between the 8th and 10th of November, her movements have only been recorded as retrieving potato flatbread from a bakery or a supermarket that distributes it, boarding a train to Prato sometime between the 12th and the morning of her suicide. Her actions and movements between exiting the train and the discovery of her body remain unknown aside from the decedent traveling down the Via di Cavaglino to the olive tree where she would end her life. Though, it is claimed that the area where she was discovered is not well-known by outsiders of Prato.

The decedent's interest in computer science led to detectives investigating the Prato Linux Association for any link, though it was discovered that she had never visited this organization. The PLA forwarded her images to other technological organizations in Tuscany to aid authorities, though these provided no further leads. The envelope marked with the official stamp of the Danish Royal Family has also failed in providing any further leads, but it is currently theorized that she may have worked for them at some point in her life. It has never been confirmed if her claim of being a medical doctor was true. In addition, if she is foreign, it is unknown why she chose to end her life in Prato.

Characteristics

  • Described as being well-groomed before and after her death.
  • She had reportedly worn makeup during the conference, but removed it during her bout of excessive sweating. This makeup was not present on her corpse.
  • Blonde hair.
  • Reportedly spoke Italian with an unspecified foreign accent.
  • Her nails were painted in pink nail polish.

Clothing and accessories

  • Dark gray t-shirt.
  • Dark pullover.
  • Dark slacks.
  • Shoes described as being of a 'particular model' with an eastern European tag. These shoes may be from Poland.
  • A woolen coat also described as being of a 'particular model' with an eastern European tag.
  • An unspecified bag.
  • A leopard-print headband.
  • "Vinetic" brand white-framed sunglasses with wide stems in a tiger-stripe pattern.
  • A small comb.
  • 20 euro bills.
  • A tourist map of Vancouver Island in Canada with the text being in English.
  • A map of Copenhagen Airport in Denmark alongside a map of sea connections between Copenhagen and Denmark's other islands.
  • A coupon for a subscription to the "Scientific American" with spaces filled out for a "Henrik Eis" or "Enrick Eis" in Payson, Arizona with a credit card payment box crossed out. The name "Henrik Eis" leads to a doctor in Malov, Denmark, who specializes in laser dermatological surgery. It is unknown what the decedent's link to Eis is, if at all. On the back of this coupon "Victoria Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada" is written exactly.
  • A luggage tag for Norwegian Airlines SAS described as being incomplete.
  • A page containing an article from the Scientific American from September 2007 accompanied by a picture of a molecule and information about software that aids in the development of molecules.
  • A page from the Florentine Metro newspaper from November 9th, 2007. A conference known as the "Laser Florence 2007" had taken place from the 8th to the 10th in Florence. It is likely this is the convention Pelagalli saw the decedent at.
  • A map of Vancouver and Victoria, Canada with a circle made in pen around a conference center in Victoria with a note written saying "24 - 27 Sept. Conference." At the time written in the note, the "Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSSG4)" Conference was taking place.
  • An unstamped "Trenitalia" railway ticket for Viareggio, Italy with the time "13:15" written on it. These tickets were able to be obtained at news kiosks and valid for a 20 kilometer trip. Trenitalia is a primary source of railway transport in Italy.
  • Post-it note filled with English phrases on scientific topics with "I lowe Niels Bohr", "I owe Niels Bohr", or "I love Niels Bohr" written on the back.
  • A fragment of a French greeting card signed by a "Roberta" and "Michel".
  • An article from a Danish magazine about the royal family of Denmark accompanied by color photos. On the article, there is an underlined sentence and notes written in white margins in pen about pieces of the text and biographical information about the family.
  • A leaflet about a carbon dioxide laser used in dermatological surgeries with "Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, cb4 4fr" written on the back.
  • "Minute Maid Ace" soft drink.
  • Potato flatbread from a bakery in Tuscany that may have distributed to supermarkets. According to the date on the package, it was packaged on November 12th, 2007, and was set to expire on November 15th, 2007.
  • "Livol Multi Total Teenager" multivitamin supplements by Dansk Droge AS.
  • Part of an envelope from the official Danish Royal Family with the sender being written as "Hendes Majestaiet dronning Ingrids hof Federik VIII's palae 1257 Kobenhavn". This directly links to Frederik VII's Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is owned by the Danish Royal Family. It is stamped with a send date of December 17th, 1999. The envelope is said to have specifically been the type sent by Queen Ingrid of Denmark, who sent the letter 5 days before crowning her daughter Margreth as queen and dying a few months later in 2000.
  • A postcard with an image of a seascape and mountain view of Antalya, Turkey.

Sources

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