Helen Renee Groomes : “Missouri Body Identified as Missing Iowa Girl”

By | April 3, 2024

By Trend News Line 2024-04-03 18:36:10.

The Discovery of Lincoln County Jane Doe

In a recent breakthrough, a body found in the Mississippi River over four decades ago has finally been identified. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri revealed that DNA evidence has helped determine the identity of the victim known as the “Lincoln County Jane Doe.” The body has been confirmed to be that of 15-year-old Helen Renee Groomes, who went missing from Ottumwa in 1977.

The Mysterious Case

The body of Groomes was discovered in the Mississippi River near Elsberry, Missouri, in March 1978. Initially, a medical examiner believed the victim to be a woman aged 30 to 40 years old. The cause of death was determined to be drowning, with no signs of trauma present. The only clues to the victim’s identity were a cat’s eye ring and a tattoo resembling a name on her left forearm.

A Long-standing Mystery

After being declared deceased for four months, the case surrounding the unidentified body was classified as undetermined. The victim was laid to rest at a local cemetery under the name “Lincoln County Jane Doe.” However, in October 2023, her remains were exhumed for further analysis.

Breakthrough in Identification

Faculty and students from Southeast Missouri State University conducted an in-depth analysis of the remains. Through bone and dental examination, along with DNA testing at a private lab named Othram Inc., it was revealed that the victim was actually younger than initially believed. The lab successfully constructed a genealogical profile, leading to new leads in the investigation.

A Resolution to the Decades-old Mystery

Sheriff Rick Harrell expressed his gratitude towards the teams involved in solving the long-standing mystery. The collaborative efforts of SEMO, Othram, and the Lincoln County Coroner’s Office were crucial in providing closure to the family and finally identifying Helen Renee Groomes.

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Reunion with Family

Following the identification, the Lincoln County Coroner’s Office was able to reach out to Kevin Groomes, Helen’s brother. DNA testing confirmed the match, reuniting the family with their long-lost sister. Kevin Groomes shared his overwhelming joy at finally finding closure and bringing his sister home after all these years.


The resolution of the case of Lincoln County Jane Doe serves as a reminder of the power of DNA technology and the dedication of investigative teams. The identification of Helen Renee Groomes after decades of uncertainty brings a sense of closure to her family and the community..

Body found Missouri 1978 identified missing Iowa girl
Long-tailed keyword Body found Missouri 1978 identified missing Iowa girl.

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