© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Precious Doe: Hunt for killer enters fourth year

How Precious Doe might have looked in life: (l)KCUR colorized photo of a forensic sculpture, (r) computer-generated image
Steve Bell/Center for Missing Children
How Precious Doe might have looked in life: (l)KCUR colorized photo of a forensic sculpture, (r) computer-generated image

By Steve Bell

Kansas City, MO – It has been four years since the headless body of a little girl was found in woods east or 59th and Swope Parkway. Homicide Sergeant Dave Bernard says he and his officers have a special devotion to the case because it involves a child who met a violent death. Four years of investigation has led up dozens of blind alleys, but new leads continue to come in on the case. Whenever a television program or newspaper article features the little girl the community named Precious Doe, police phones start ringing. And Bernard says the case is not so cold that he will release all the details yet.
Mayor Pro-Tem Alvin Brooks, staff president of the Move Up neighborhood organization, has led community efforts in the case, which he says has become an obsession to him. Brooks has a pet theory about who Precious Doe may have been. Police say it is credible, as are several others. From Brooks' efforts a volunteer organization, the Precious Doe Committee, has grown. It has managed to have a positive impact despite the tragedy that brought about its founding. The woods in the area will be cleared to make way for a park and jogging trail, and memorial events at nearby Hibbs park still give the community a chance to pray and grieve and to organize for better neighborhood and child safety.
Everyone interviewed believes Precious Doe will eventually be identified and her killer brought to justice. Brooks says it will happen because of the power of so many prayers. Sergeant Bernard says he and his men are still ready to provide the investigative work to finish the job.
Learn more and see different forensic interpretations of what Precious Doe looked like.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.