Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #104) Could Jessie Foster be Jane Doe? KAMLOOPS: Forensic artist 90% sure it’s her; missing woman’s mom awaits DNA test

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Could Jessie Foster be Jane Doe? KAMLOOPS: Forensic artist 90% sure it’s her; missing woman’s mom awaits DNA test
The (Vancouver) Province by Cheryl Chan

Jessie’s timeline
MAY 2005: Jessie Foster moves to Las Vegas
NOVEMBER 2005: Foster goes back to Kamloops to visit her family for the holidays.
DEC. 25, 2005: Her family drives her to the airport for her 3 p.m. flight back to Las Vegas.
MARCH 28, 2006: Foster was last seen alive in north Las Vegas with her boyfriend Peter Todd. Her credit cards and bank account have not been touched since.

The mother of a missing Kamloops woman is clinging to hope offered by a DNA test, despite a forensic artist’s opinion that her daughter’s facial features match the reconstructed image of an unidentified woman found dead in Texas.

“My heart doesn’t accept she’s dead,” said Glendene Grant, 50, from her Kamloops home yesterday. “Moms might not know everything, but if your child is not alive your heart would know.”

Her daughter, 23-year-old Jessie Foster, disappeared in March 2006, four months after moving to Las Vegas. Grant found out later that Jessie had been working as a prostitute for an escort service.

The DNA test was requested by the North Las Vegas Police Department after Grant alerted them to the unsolved Texan case, which aired on American’s Most Wanted on Jan. 12.

The remains of the Jane Doe, found in Kilgore, Tex. on Oct. 29, 2006, couldn’t be identified because the body was severely burned. But forensic experts reconstructed her face ad aired it on the crime-solving television show.

The mouth-swab DNA test kit from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas should come in the mail any day now, said Grant.

“I need to have proof, and I guess the DNA will prove it one way or the other,” she said.
Her ex-husband and Foster’s dad, Dwight Foster, who lives in Calgary, will also provide a DNA sample.

Todd Matthews, director of U.S.-based Project EDAN, which provides facial reconstructions of unidentified victims for police, said there is a strong likeness between Foster and the reconstructed image.

“I do feel she looks like Jessie,” he said. “There are similarities in the bone structure and how the cheekbones line up.”

His opinion is supported by a Florida-based certified forensic artist who volunteers for EDAN.

The artist did a side-by-side comparison of the two photos and analyzed features including the hairline, the angle of her jaw, and the width of mouth and nostrils and concluded there is a 90-per-cent chance the charred remains of the Texas Jane Doe is Foster.

“It’s not definitive but there is a very good probability,” said Matthews.

Grant admits she may have “mental blocks” when it comes to comparing the photos, but said she sees more differences than similarities.

“This girl has really beautiful straight teeth just like Jessie,” she said.

But Foster, at five foot six, is at least two inches taller than the other girl, said Grant.

The Jane Doe also has a rounder face, with wider cheek bones and more Hispanic features, she added.

Grant believes her daughter is caught up in a human trafficking ring. She has created the website and spends hours every day trying to track down leads. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information about Foster’s whereabouts.

“I believe she’s alive,” said the hopeful mom. “That’s why I’m relying on having the DNA prove it one way or the other.”

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