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Ventura County Jane Doe was a young woman found murdered in 1980. Years later, her murder was solved in 2018 after Wilson Chouest was previously linked by DNA to her and Shirley Soosay, who was also previously unidentified. He denied knowing their names.

Recent developments from genealogical research by the DNA Doe Project have uncovered potential surnames and locations where the victim possibly originated. Investigators have also identified the father of her baby, but were unable to gather any new information from him.


The woman's partially disrobed body was left at the edge of a parking lot of a high school and was found hours after her death; she was initially mistaken as a mannequin. It is possible that she was abducted from Los Angeles, Kern, Ventura or Tulare Counties. It is theorized she was taken to the scene from a significant distance. She may have been hitchhiking near the College of Sequoias in Visalia, California. It is unknown if this theory originated from a sighting.

She was raped, stabbed about 29 times, and strangled. She was pregnant with a boy who also died. During the attack, the victim fought against her attacker, leaving defensive wounds on her arms and hands, as well as the killer’s DNA underneath her fingernails.

Her case was linked to Wilson Chouest who also killed Shirley Soosay. He was convicted in May 2018 of both murders. Authorities attempted to file charges for the death of her unborn son, based on laws existing at the time, but this was unsuccessful.

Recent developments[]

The DNA Doe Project released the surnames and locations of distant relatives of the Jane Doe, in hopes to narrow the search for her identity. The list included:

  • Southern Texas (between San Antonio and Brownsville) and Northeastern Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon) with the names "Bermea," "Cantu," ''Casares'', "DeLeon," "Garcia," "Garza," "Gonzalez," "Guerra-Canamar," "Guevara," "Leal," "Quintanilla," "Robles," "Talamantes," "Tijerina," "Treviño," "Vela," "Villarreal" and ''Zuñiga''.
  • Central Mexico (Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosi) with the surnames "Aguirre," "Alvarez," "Arriaga," "Ayala," "Bañuelos," "Chavez," "Escobedo," "Esquivel," "Perez," "Rubio," "Sustaita," and "Zavala."
  • Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado with the surnames "Cordova," "Gallegos," "Martin-Serrano," "Martinez," "Montoya," "Peralta," and "Romero."
  • Indigenous California with the surnames "Rios," "Uribes," "Soto," "Lara," and "Romero."
  • Guatemala with the surname "Lopez."

In 2021, investigators identified the father of her baby as a Honduran immigrant who had ties to the Central American community within the Koreatown district of Los Angeles, but were unable to get any new information from him.

In 2023, the DNA Doe Project asked for anyone who has information or familial ties to five sisters (Monica, Basilia, Feliciana, Josefa or Sotera Parga), their spouses/partners, or descendants to contact them. They were children of Catarina Montellano (1853-1895) and her husband Martin Parga (approximately 1847-1902) who are believed to be direct ancestors of Jane Doe's father. Martin Parga was the son of Aniceto Parga (1816-1847) and Maria De Jesus Lira (1815-1896). It is very likely that both parents of the Jane Doe were descendants of Aniceto Parga and Maria de Jesús Lira. There is a large community of people closely related to Ventura Jane Doe who live in the Belvedere and Boyle Heights districts of East Los Angeles, who have ancestral roots in General Panfilo Natera, Zacatecas, and have the same surnames of their closest known relatives (Parga, Lira, German, Betancourt, Chavez, Chairez, Ramos, Ortiz, Ibarra, et. to. ).


  • Brown eyes.
  • Pierced ears.
  • Black hair dyed blonde at the ends.
  • Five months pregnant with a boy.
    • Episiotomy scar indicates probable previous childbirth.
  • Shaved natural eyebrows replaced by penciled brown lines positioned 1/4 inch above their original location.
  • Large amount of mascara.
  • Red painted nails.
  • Some birthmarks on face and a mole below left index finger.
  • Scars on left knee.
  • Two vaccination scars on left arm.
  • 60% Native American heritage with traces of Hispanic and White ancestry; minor Asian lineage.
    • Possibly had a grandparent several generations back from England or Ireland.

Clothing and accessories[]

  • White blouse.
  • Black bra.
  • Red corduroy pants.
  • White underwear.
  • Open-toe high-heeled shoes were located nearby.




  • Her case was discussed on the rebooted Cold Case Files series.
  • In 2023, the Hulu series Web of Death also profiled the case.



  1. NamUs states the victim was at the range of 10 - 30, which is most likely an error.