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48 Hours

Season 2005 Episode 14

Girl Next Door

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Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Jan 07, 2006 on CBS
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Girl Next Door
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Like any good homicide detective, Sgt. Scott Dudek can sometimes get a little obsessed with his cases. But as correspondent Harold Dow reports, the 2003 murder of an unidentified young girl troubled him more than any other. Dudek says the girl had been dead for about ten days. And the way she died - with a rag in her throat - suggests someone may have wanted to silence her. But sadly, no one seemed to be looking for this victim. Because her body was so badly decomposed, a local artist did the best she could to give her a face. They also gave her a name: "Jane Doe." Police had to rely on her autopsy for other clues. Dudek released a sketch, hopeful it was good enough for someone to recognize this girl once it was splashed all over the local media and posted on Web sites dedicated to finding missing children. "With this sketch being released we probably had 150 possible clues or sightings of people that thought they knew who our Castro Valley Jane Doe was," he says. Detectives also kept an eye on Jane's grave to see who might visit her. One day there was an intriguing clue: they found a note and necklace on the headstone. "And the letter actually says 'God loves you, it's okay baby girl, Jim is paying for what he did to you,'" Dudek explains. So once again the detective is manning the phones. "Sooner or later somebody's gonna make a connection and they'll pick up the phone and they'll call us and they'll do the right thing," he says. That combination of police work and publicity finally paid off. In January 2006, 48 Hours Mystery reported on the case of Jane Doe. The calls started pouring in, and one of them would turn this case around. Someone who watched the program thought Jane looked like a young girl who was seen around Castro Valley with a man. "His name is Miguel Castaneda. And he worked in the restaurant where the body was dumped," Dudek explains. Dudek received a frantic message while in Mexico chasing a lead. It was a woman who had seen the flyer and fearemoreless
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