Download pdfs of press release and fact sheet here:
Why is it so important to publicize my “adopted daughter” Spring Doe when there are so many
unidentified persons across the United States? Every time publicity is received for one Doe, this
is a wonderful opportunity to educate and inform the public about resources available to help bring
home other missing and unidentified. The Ninth Anniversary of Spring Doe’s discovery in Chicago is
today, April 28th, 2014. Thank you for attending my “Vigil for Spring.”. If my nieces Diamond and
Tionda are in a morgue somewhere unidentified, my hope is that someone there will do the same for
Here are some facts that I encourage media to publicize when covering Spring Doe.
1. Spread the word that family members can enter their missing loved one’s information and a
family DNA sample into NamUs for comparison with unidentified persons. Spring Doe was the first
Chicago Cook County Doe listed with NamUs . NamUs: Wonderful database for missing and unidentified
that works with National Center for Missing/Exploited Children. Many people have no clue what NamUs
is. That needs to change.
2. Family Members of missing persons: Make sure any advocacy work you do for a Doe serves as an
example for what can be done for all Does in your area. And be sure and thank the individuals in
law enforcement who do the follow-through and hard work to utilize NamUs and other resources. I am
so grateful for all the work Spring Doe’s detective, the Chicago Police, the Cook County Medical
Examiner, NamUs and NCMEC have done for Spring Doe, including most recently having her facial
approximation constructed and then published on our Medical Examiner’s Unidentified Site and
Spring’s NamUs profile.
3. Not all missing persons have been reported missing and entered into NamUs. Educate family
members that this is important. Make that missing person report!
4. Family Members of Missing Persons are our primary target audience for the Facial Approximation.
The approximation can’t help if the right person doesn’t have the opportunity to see it. When
publicizing a facial approximation, the goal is that hopefully a close friend or family member will
see it and something about it with spark recognition of their missing loved one. That alone does
not identify a Doe. It is just a catalyst for more investigation.
5. Facial Approximations are NOT portraits. The more evidence and details that remain for
anthropologists and forensic artists to work with, the better chance of getting a likeness that a
family member can recognize. Some facial approximations are made with more information to work
with, such as hair color and eye color. In Spring Doe’s case, her approximation was based on
skeletal remains. Working with an anthropologist and the scientific information available, a
forensic artist gave her an approximation of a face based on her skull.
6. Identifying a Doe is NOT a “guessing game.” Make sure the public knows that the best way they
can help is to keep passing on the facial approximation through social media, etc. so that
eventually a family member or close friend may see and recognize the victim. Don’t waste law
enforcement’s time with guesses.
7. Most important, if a family member of a missing person contacts you about a possible match, tell
them to contact law enforcement directly. There is contact information for the Doe’s law
enforcement case manager in that NamUs entry and also physical facts about the Doe that the family
member can compare their missing person to. If the family member feels strongly that this might be
a match, it is important for them to contact law enforcement directly.
Blessings and thank you all for your help, Shelia Bradley-Smith