Murdered and Forgotten

Did a woman you know disappear in 1980? That's when two women were brutally raped and murdered in separate crimes in central California. You can help bring these young mothers back to their families.

Kern County Jane Doe

Kern County Jane Doe

  • Hispanic or Native American
  • 25-35 years old
  • 5 feet 3 inches tall
  • Approximately 115 pounds
  • Brown eyes
  • Black or dark brown hair (with some gray)
  • Showed signs of previous pregnancy
  • Missing entire top row of teeth
  • Possibly known as "Rebecca Ochoa" or "Becky"
Ventura Jane Doe

Ventura County Jane Doe

  • Hispanic or Native American
  • 20-30 years old
  • 5 feet 2 inches tall
  • Approximately 115 pounds
  • Brown eyes
  • Black shoulder length hair with bleached tips
  • Shaved eyebrows with penciled eyebrows above
  • Four-five months pregnant with evidence of prior pregnancy
  • Extensive dental work

Kern County Jane Doe

Kern County Jane Doe had several distinctive tattoos in an era when tattoos were much less common in women. One tattoo has the name "Shirley" inside a heart. Another says "Seattle" in artistic script. Another says, "love you." On her other arm, a rose tattoo is encircled by the words, "Mother I love you."

Ventura County Jane Doe

Ventura County Jane Doe was in her 20s and about five months pregnant with a never-to-be-born son. She was well nourished and appeared to have had pre-natal care. Her clothes were clean and she appeared to have been well groomed. Dental forensics showed she had extensive dental work.

Murdered And Forgotten

In July 1980, two mothers were killed days apart. They were stabbed to death in separate crimes, one in Kern County and one in Ventura County. Investigators say DNA has identified the man who killed them both, but 38 years later, both women remain unidentified. You can help. There are very distinctive characteristics for each woman. Read the details. Spread this information on social media. Call the hotline number – 661-868-0119 – if you have information.

You can return missing moms to their families

Law enforcement says DNA has solved another cold case murder.

Wilson Chouest, 66, is on trial in Ventura, charged with the brutal stabbing deaths of two young women during separate rapes in July 1980. One woman was pregnant and Chouest also is charged with murdering her fetus.

That’s only half of the mystery.

Law enforcement needs your help to solve the other half.

In the 38 years since the killings, no one has been able to identify either victim.

DNA has proved ineffective. There are no fingerprint matches. Dental records have not helped. The best efforts of two generations of detectives in two counties has not been able to bring the missing moms home.

That’s what prompted this crowdsourcing effort.

We want you to share the stories of the missing moms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – everywhere.

Someone, somewhere knows who these women were.

Investigators agree: If the right person sees this story, the missing moms can be returned to their families.

The missing mom hotline is: 661-868-0119

Gallery - Kern County Jane Doe

Gallery - Ventura County Jane Doe

Please Help

If you have any information that can help identify these women, please contact the following:

Missing Mom Hotline

661-868-0119

Map

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If you would like the video to air on your station or website, below are the assets for download:

VIDEO
Full 6-minute package with KGET reporter

(438MB - MP4 format - 1920x1080)
Click here to download

Full 6-minute package split track audio, blank standups
(448MB - .MP4 format - 1920x1080)
Click here to download

SCRIPT
Full 6-minute package with anchor intro/out

Click to download: Word - PDF

VIDEO
2-minute package with KGET reporter

(145MB - .MP4 format - 1920x1080)
Click here to download

2-minute package, split track audio, with standups
(145MB - .MP4 format - 1920x1080)
Click here to download

SCRIPT
2-minute package with anchor intro/out

Click to download: Word - PDF

Timeline

July 15, 1980:
Body of Kern County Jane Doe is found in orchard.

Tire tracks and a beer bottle are found near the victim.

Autopsy reveals victim was stabbed multiple times. Coroner notes victim had "defense wounds" on her arms.

Kern County Sheriff's Office investigators travel to bars on Freemont Street in Delano to search for witnesses. Two women in their mid-30s are interviewed. One goes by the nickname "Pixy." The women independently corroborate description of victim's tattoos. Initially unsure of the woman's name, they later tell deputies the victim went by "Rebecca Ochoa," or "Becky," and she had served time in Kern County jail and in migrant worker road camp facilities.

Investigators find no records of "Rebecca Ochoa" in their databases.

July 18, 1980:
Body of Ventura Jane Doe is discovered in parking lot of West Lake High School.

Victim had multiple stab wounds, with "defense wounds" on arms.

Abandoned motorcycle is found in nearby bushes.

Attendees of high school football game are interviewed. None noticed the body.

Investigators note woman appears to have been killed in another location and brought to the parking lot.

Autopsy report reveals woman died from multiple stab wounds to chest, back, hips, and buttocks. She was four-to-five months pregnant with a boy.



July 20, 1980:
Ventura County Sheriff's Department is contacted by man who says he saw a woman matching the victim's description attempting to hitchhike around 10:30 p.m. July 17 on West Lake Boulevard, near the westbound on-ramp to Highway 101.

Described woman's physical description is in line with body found at high school, but description of clothing does not match.

Man told investigators he saw the woman speaking with a man in a white or blue 1973 or '74 Chevy or Ford pickup. He said he did not see if she got into the vehicle with the man.

July 25, 1980:
Owner of motorcycle found near body at high school is interviewed at Honor Farm.

Man was taken into custody July 16 on a drunk driving charge and outstanding warrant. Man tells interviewers he abandoned motorcycle after running out of gas. He also abandoned a blue 1972 Ford pickup truck on the side of a roadway hours later.

Investigators check pickup for blood stains and find nothing.

Jan. 28, 1981:
Investigators travel to tattoo shop on 19th Street in Bakersfield to ask tattoo artists if they can identify the victim or the area in which the tattoos originated.

Artists tell investigators one tattoo was possibly 10 years old, with another 2 years old, and indicate they may have been from a shop on Main and 5th Streets in Los Angeles. This area is commonly referred to as "Skid Row."

Feb. 3, 1991:
Investigator travels to Main and 5th Streets in L.A., asking local tattoo artists if they recognized the victim. Artists say they do not recognize victim or her tattoos, and that the artistry did not reflect work commonly done in L.A. Artists advise investigator to visit the American Indian Center one block away.
Investigator visits Indian Involvement Center at 118 Winston St. Employees say they do not recognize the victim.

Feb. 6, 2006:
Photocopies of Ventura County Jane Doe's fingerprints are collected and sent to FBI for cross-reference in government database. The victim remains unidentified.

April 23, 2013:
Ventura County Sheriff's Department releases public request for any information regarding the murder of Ventura Jane Doe, noting investigators believe she may have been a resident of the San Fernando Valley or Kern County.

Sept. 23, 2015:
Prosecutors, citing newly analyzed DNA evidence, charge Wilson Chouest with the murders of Kern County Jane Doe and Ventura County Jane Doe. Chouest is currently serving a life sentence in state prison for the unrelated kidnapping, robbery, and rape of a woman in Tulare County in 1980.

May 14, 2018:
Double-murder trial for Wilson Chouest begins in Ventura County Superior Court.