DNA leads to identification of Lavender Doe, name not being released

Searching for Lavender Doe's identity

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The mystery has been solved in the case of an unidentified woman, a murder victim, dubbed by law enforcement as “Lavender Doe.

According to the DNA Doe Project, a humanitarian initiative to help identify Jane and John Does through advanced genetic genealogy techniques, the remains of the woman have been identified. Lt. Eddie Hope with Gregg County Sheriff’s Office confirms that the woman has been identified to law enforcement, but that her identity will not be released to the public at this time due to “the open nature of her case and pending trial.”

DNA leads to identification of Lavender Doe, name not being released

The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office previously said that murder victim Lavender Doe was a white female in her late teens or early 20s with reddish blonde or light brown hair. She was about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighed about 100 to 120 pounds and was found wearing blue jeans and a violet/maroon sweater. She was found in 2006, burned to death and left along a roadway.

Related: Unidentified and Dead: ‘Lavender Doe’ is not alone in East Texas

According to LPD and the GCSO, on the day of the murder, Lavender Doe was possibly at Walmart Super Center on Fourth Street in Longview. Joseph Wayne Burnette has been interviewed regarding this murder, and officials say he confessed to it, as well as to the murder of Felisha Pearson.

Pearson was reported missing on July 19, 2018. Her body was later found on July 24 at a location off of Birdsong Street in Longview. An arrest warrant affidavit shows Burnette and Pearson lived together, residing at the Contessa Inn.

After her death, Burnette was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender with a previous conviction.

The DNA Doe Project has made an identification in the case of Lavender Doe. The young woman was discovered on October...

Posted by DNA Doe Project on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Related: Suspect in Felisha Pearson murder indicted in 2006 Lavender Doe murder case

On the day she was murdered, Lavender Doe, “was possibly walking the parking lot by the lawn and garden, she may have been soliciting customers as they entered and exited the store trying to sell items from a brochure,” officials said in a news release.

Suspect in Felisha Pearson murder indicted in 2006 Lavender Doe murder case

They did not say whether it is believed whether or not Lavender Doe knew Burnette, as Pearson did, or whether it was a random act.

Joseph Burnette (Source: Gregg County Sheriff's Office)
Joseph Burnette (Source: Gregg County Sheriff's Office)

Officials previously said Lavender Doe’s first name may be Ashley.

If you have any information regarding these murders, contact the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office.

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