EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Gregg County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of a murder victim who remained unidentified for 12 years after her body was found on an oil lease in the county.
The woman, previously known only as ‘Lavender Doe’ because of the color of her sweater, has been identified as Dana Lynn Dodd, 21.
The department released a statement on the case Monday:
"On Oct. 29, 2006, deputies with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on an oil lease off Fritz Swanson Road north of Texas 31, where two men discovered an unidentified woman’s body. The woman later came to be known as Lavender Doe.
The Lavender Doe Homicide case has been active from the beginning, and investigators never stopped trying to identify Lavender Doe.
Now thanks to the DNA Doe Project and their supporters, investigators have been able to confirm the identity of Lavender Doe as 21-year-old Dana Lynn Dodd, last known to be living in Jacksonville, Florida.
Joseph Wayne Burnette is currently in the Gregg County Jail awaiting trial, charged with the murders of Dana Dodd and Felishia Pearson. Burnette is also charged with Sex Offender Duty to Register, with his bonds totaling $2,500,000."
In January, the DNA Doe Project announced that Lavender Doe’s remains had been identified. Officials said that information was withheld until Monday to protect the case.
The DNA Doe Project is a humanitarian initiative to help identify Jane and John Does through advanced genetic genealogy techniques. A Gregg County Sheriff’s Office official confirmed the information but declined to identify her.