Charles County Sheriff’s Detectives and Forensic Science Investigators have identified the body of a woman who was found murdered almost 25 years ago. Jane Doe was her name for investigators for 25 years, but her true identity has now been learned – LaQuanda Denise “Niecey” Williams who was just 31 years old when her body was discovered.

Learning the identity of Jane Doe after 25 years is a testament to the relentless dedication of our investigators. Today, we take a significant step forward in bringing answers to light and ensuring that she is no longer Jane Doe, but a person with a name and a story,” said Sheriff Troy D. Berry. “Now, we have a name to work with in an attempt to identify the person responsible for her murder. We won’t give up in our pursuit for justice.”  


Facts of the case: In 1998, an unidentified woman was found deceased, lying in a field near Irving Road and Route 301 in Bel Alton. The woman was believed to be aged 25-35, approximately 5’4” – 5’7” tall, weighed about 115 to 135 pounds, with no visible scars, marks, or tattoos. She was the apparent victim of a homicide. The traditional ways of attempting to identify her led nowhere. Detectives worked with numerous law enforcement agencies and local and regional news covered the story, yet Jane Doe remained a mystery. 

Since the time she was discovered, investigators and the Forensic Science Section continued to attempt to identify the woman through various means including more notable measures such as facial reconstruction and updated fingerprint identification, but the woman remained unidentified. 

Investigators also reached out to Dr. Erin Kimmerle, an Anthropologist with the University of South Florida, who conducted an isotopic analysis indicating the victim was US-born from the northeast region, most likely a local of Maryland or vicinity.  Ongoing DNA analysis resulted in the development of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) profile which was available for comparison should a relative of the victim come forward. Sadly, all new technologies, sciences, and ways to identify Jane Doe resulted in no matches.  

As part of their effort to identify Jane Doe, every year, on the anniversary of her discovery, the agency promoted the story through traditional media and social media. Tips came in, but any potential match was eliminated through DNA. 

On June 18, 2023, the 25th anniversary of the date Jane Doe was discovered, reporter Megan McGrath from NBC News 4 Washington, met with detectives and members of the Forensic Science Section to air another story, providing as many facts as could be released. That news coverage generated a lead. 

On the very night the story aired, Deputy Director Noelle Gehrman of the Forensic Science Section received a tip from a family member, indicating they had just watched the story on television and that Jane Doe might be their relative. “We have received tips in the past and had our hopes up, but DNA ruled those potential relatives out,” said Gehrman. “But when this tip came in, everything the caller conveyed just fit. I felt we now had a direction to move forward and a solid lead to pursue,” said Gehrman.

The family member sent photos of their relative to investigators who immediately noted a similarity in the sketch used to try to identify Jane Doe in 1998. Through further investigation, detectives located potential siblings of Jane Doe and in 2023, one of her siblings provided a DNA sample for comparison.

On October 12, 2023, the DNA analysis report from Bode Technology confirmed that Jane Doe’s mtDNA profile could not be eliminated from her sibling’s profile, meaning she was related to the sibling.

On October 25, 2023, officials met with the victim’s family and confirmed Jane Doe’s identity. Williams’ last residence was in S.E. Washington, D.C. The case is being investigated as a homicide and detectives are pursuing leads.

“This is yet another example of the dedication of our Forensic Science Section and detectives assigned to our Homicide Unit and Cold Case Unit. In the pursuit of justice, they follow up with every case. They never give up. They never stop trying to bring justice to victims and their families,” said Sheriff Troy D. Berry.

Anyone with information regarding the homicide of LaQuanda Williams should contact Detective Shankster at 301-932-3037 or  Anyone with information about any crime is urged to contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Charles County Crime Solvers offers cash rewards for tips leading to the arrest of suspects involved in the case. For more information about the CCSO’s commitment to the pursuit of justice, click on this link: CCSO’s Commitment to the Pursuit of Justice.

Deputy Director Forensic Science Section Noelle Gehrman, Sgt. John Elliott (Homicide) Megan McGrath (Reporter), Chris Shankster (Homicide), Shreya Kamath (Forensic Science Section Supervisor)

Diane Richardson
Media Relations Office
301-609-6557 or 240-682-1658

The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) in 2001 and has since earned the highest rating of Excellence. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link: