Tampa Bay Cold Case Project | CASE 13

    Sumter County Sheriff’s Office
    On February 19, 1971, the body of a white female was discovered under the Lake Panasoffkee Bridge on I-75 in Sumter County, Florida.  This female has remained unidentified ever since, but new scientific analyses have allowed detectives to obtain a new composite image of the female and her clothing hoping that the image and other new information may allow detectives to finally identify her.
    “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee” was buried in a Jane Doe grave in Oak Grove Cemetery in Wildwood.  In 1986, she was exhumed for re-examination and was the subject of an Unsolved Mysteries episode.  Detectives obtained her DNA profile that has been entered into national databases should a potential family member come forward.
    In March 2012, Sumter County Sheriff’s detectives requested the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida to conduct further analyses on the 41 year old remains after learning of the university’s involvement in other bay area cold cases.  The USF Forensic Anthropology Laboratory re-examined the remains and generated a new composite image of the victim and that of her clothing worn at the time of her death.  At that time, she was between 17 and 24 years of age, approximately 5’2”-5’5” tall, weighed about 110-120 pounds, and had dark colored hair and brown eyes.  She was wearing plaid green pants, a matching solid green shirt, and a shawl with green and yellow print.  She had a Baylor wrist watch on her left wrist, a yellow gold ring with clear stone on her left ring finger, and a small, thin yellow gold necklace. 
    The victim’s teeth were examined by the Geological Sciences Department at the University of Florida.  The conclusion of the analysis determined that the victim is possibly of Greek descent and most likely had come to the United States ten to twelve months prior to her death.  Further testing determined the victim’s teeth contained a high level of lead that may link the victim to the small town of Lavrion, which is located approximately 60 miles southeast of Athens, Greece.  Lavrion is known for its high level of lead contamination associated with mining operations in the region. 
    If anyone has any information, please contact Detective Darren Norris at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 352-569-1617 or by email at dnorris@sumtercountysheriff.org.