After more than a decade of searching for the identity of a young girl whose skeletal remains were found in an Opelika trailer park, authorities now know who she is and have arrested her father and his wife.
Opelika Jane Doe, also known as Baby Jane, who investigators long suspected was abused, neglected and likely the victim of homicide, has been identified as Amore Joveh Wiggins. If still alive, Amore would be 17 years old.
Her father Lamar Vickerstaff Jr., a career serviceman in the U.S. Navy, is now charged with felony murder. His wife Ruth Vickerstaff, who is not Amore’s mother, is charged with failure to report a missing child.
“The level of dedication to this case I’ve never seen in my entire career,’’ Healey said. “It felt really good to say her name out loud.”
Investigators were able to put the pieces together with the help of Othram Inc., a Texas-based company that uses highly-specialized DNA sequencing and genomics to advance biometrics and human identification, and renowned genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, who helped police identify the Golden State Killer.
They learned Amore was born in January 2006 and that her mother – 37-year-old Sherry Wiggins – lost custody of her in 2009. Amore went to live with his father and his girlfriend, and the mother lost all contact with her.
In January 2012, Opelika police responded to Brookhaven Trailer Park, located at 1775 Hurst Street in Opelika on a report of skeletal remains being found.
A skull was located in the yard of a residence while the majority of the bones were located only a few feet into the wood line behind a trailer and the adjacent lot.
In December of 2022, detectives met with Wiggins who confirmed she was the biological mother of Jane Doe.
Opelika detectives then met with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office to seek criminal charges.
On Jan. 17, 2023, Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff, 53, were arrested in Jacksonville, Florida.
They are currently being held at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office pending extradition to Lee County. Healey said they’ve waived extradition, and authorities are making preparations to return them to Alabama.
Lamar Vickerstaff attended Opelika High School and had relatives living in the area where Amore’s remains were found.
Investigators want to speak with anyone who knows the Vickerstaffs and had interaction with them over, and possibly Amore, over the years.
“Amore suffered a tremendous, horrible death,’’ Clifton said. “She had a tragic end to her life.”
Anyone with information is asked to the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at 334-705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 334-745-8665.
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