It was the tip that made a difference, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigators.
After News4JAX published a story about “Baby Jane Doe,” GBI said it received a lead from a woman regarding a missing 5-year-old who was known as Baby Jane Doe for decades.
Authorities said Kenyatta Odom died in 1988 at the hands of her mother and her boyfriend.
Her body was discovered by roadworkers in December 1988 when they found a container inside an old television cabinet. Odom was found wrapped in a blanket inside a duffel bag, covered in concrete.
For nearly 35 years, Odom didn’t have a name or identity. The woman’s tip to authorities plus new DNA testing technology led detectives to identify the toddler’s remains as Odom and as the investigation continued, Odom’s mother, Evelyn Odom, and her boyfriend at the time, Ulyster Sanders, were charged with felony murder, first-degree child cruelty, aggravated battery-family violence, conspiracy to conceal a death and concealing a death.
They were both arrested on Nov. 9.
Retired JSO Director Tom Hackney, who has worked on a similar case like Odom’s, offered this advice to encourage people to share any tips they may have regarding cases that authorities are investigating.
“Investigators don’t have anything but the information that you give them. And it’s that one piece that could be the whole key to breaking the case wide open,” Hackney said. “It’s when as investigators you get that call and it’s that one little piece and it just starts opening other doors after other doors after other doors. It really leads to a case being solved at all because one person thought enough to pick up the phone and have had the guts really to make that call.”
Hackney worked on the 2015 case involving Lonzi Barton, who was a little boy who went missing.
“We believe to have been murdered. And then some several months later, we ended up finding him discarded like trash, and brought some answers to the family and tried to get some justice out of that case,” Hackney said.