[Wed Jun 04 2003]
The Doe Network could be on the way to its sixth solved case if remains found in Pulaski County turn out to be those of J.L. Love.
Network administrator Angela Ellis has identified Love as a possible match for the remains recovered in Pulaski County in April.
The Doe Network is a worldwide organization that works to solve missing persons cases.
The network has solved five cases, and about 1,000 potential matches are being investigated by local law enforcement officials from around the globe.
Todd Matthews, media director and administrator for the network, has been working with the organization since it started in 1999. His involvement and eventual solving of the case of the "Tent Girl" was what first got him involved in other cases.
On May 17, 1968, the body of a woman had been discovered wrapped in a green tarpaulin in a field in Scott County, Ky.
The body was so badly decomposed that a positive identification was impossible. The case went cold until 1987, when Matthews began researching the case.
It was during the early 1990s, with the advent of the Internet, when Matthews was able to make great strides in the case.
In 1998, he discovered a post on a Web site describing a 1967 disappearance from Lexington, Ky.
The post described Barbara Ann Hackman-Taylor, who had disappeared more than 30 years before. Late that same year, DNA testing proved that the "Tent Girl" was Hackman-Taylor.
She was from Centreville, Ill., and at the time of her disappearance had been living in Lexington with her husband, a carnival worker.
Matthews said that just as the Internet played a big roll in solving the "Tent Girl" case, it also was vital to the network's success.
"With the invention of the Internet, it is affordable for a normal person to get involved," Matthews said. "Without the Internet, none of this would have happened."
Matthews said his work in the automotive industry with quality control also has helped him to develop a computer system for cataloging missing persons cases.
The network has a potential match database with more than 1,000 cases, and another with cases that have been ruled out.
He said it's important to have both so they won't overlap.
Ellis, a stay-at-home mom from Toronto, submits cases into the database. She said the Doe Network receives as many as 20 calls a day.
"We get calls from a lot of families about missing loved ones," Ellis said.
She said the cases the network works on are difficult to solve because most of them are old, but she said that's not a deterrent.
"We hope we can make a difference," Ellis said. "We think it is so important for families with missing people to contact us, so we can help."
- Mark Lambird
For more information on the Doe Network, visit www.doenetwork.org.
If you have information concerning the unidentified body found in Pulaski County, call state police at (618) 845-3740.