A Michigan family from Kalamazoo in search for information about their daughter who went missing 34 years ago posted a photo to Craigslist in hopes that someone would recognize the girl. Meanwhile, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office was creating a Facebook page for Bossier Doe, a girl they found stabbed to death in the woods of rural Louisiana. Luck would have it that a Bossier 911 operator would see both postings and make an instant connection, thus ending a 34-year-old cold case murder.
Detroit Newsreports that police have been in search of the identity of a young teen that they found stabbed to death in the woods of rural Louisiana for 34 years without a lead. However, that all changed when the department decided to create a Facebook page with an artist’s rendering of the young girl who they called Bossier Doe, as Facebook does not allow Jane Doe postings. Just six days after creating the page, a lead would come in that would put an end to the three-decade long mystery.
A woman who saw a composite drawing of the victim on the Bossier Doe page and immediately remembered a photo from a Craigslist posting made by a friend in Michigan. Though the postings were made 1,000 miles away from one another, the right person saw both postings at the right time. The woman was a 911 dispatcher in Bossier and had seen the pleas from the local sheriff’s office to help identify a young victim. When she saw the photo and compared it to the family photo from her Michigan friend’s post, she saw the connection and the case was finally solved. The young girl was 17-year-old Carol Cole who disappeared without a trace after running away from a juvenile detention center in Texas in October 1980 after her family moved to Texas from Michigan.
Cole’s family was separated as Carol moved to Texas with her mother, and her sister remained behind in Kalamazoo to live with her grandmother. Carol’s sister says that Texas was bad for Carol and that she constantly ran away until she was placed in a girl’s home in Austin. The sister says that even after Carol vanished, she still received letters and phone calls from her frequently from an undisclosed location. However, the last call came from Shreveport, Louisianna on December 13, 1980. The sister says Carol told her she was taken in by a family and was babysitting for them. That is the last time she would ever hear from her sister again.
Now, 34 years later, the sister finally knows what happened to Carol in Shreveport, as more connections in the case are made thanks to the identification of the young girl. John Chesson, who discovered the body in 1981, would later convicted of an unrelated murder and is serving a life sentence. His daughter, Frances LeBlanc, said Cole’s photo in news stories in March triggered a memory of Chesson picking up Cole who was hitchhiking, and her staying with the family a month before she disappeared. LeBlanc now firmly believes that her father is responsible for killing Cole.
Thanks to the hard work of a Bossier detective who wouldn’t give up on a case, a keen-eyed 911 dispatcher and a sister that wouldn’t give up hope on her lost sibling, a 34-year old cold case murder has now been laid to rest. The family is still waiting for charges to be brought against Chesson in the murder case despite the fact he is already serving a life sentence for a different murder.
[Image Credit: Bossier Sheriff]