Monday, June 15, 2020

Wanda Deann Kirkum was "Valentine Doe"


UPDATE 6/15/2020:

"Valentine Doe" was identified as 18 year-old Wanda Deann Kirkum of Hornell, New York.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, Kirkum "had never been reported missing."  

Wanda Deann Kirkum 
(Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel)

Her killer was identified via DNA as Robert Lynn Bradley.  He didn't live for long after killing Kirkum.  

According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Robert Lynn Bradley, accused killer of Wanda Dean Kirkum
(Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel)

For more information:

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Original Dark Sleuth post from March 2016:

                                            "Valentine Doe" was found murdered on February 15, 1991 in
                                                 in a wooded area near the shoreline of the Florida Keys.  
                                          Composites by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 

South of Bahia Honda Channel Bridge, in an area known as the "horseshoe" in the Florida Keys, the body of a young woman was found on February 15, 1991.

Her death was violent.  She was sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.    

For the past 25 years, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) have tried to identify the victim, known as, "Valentine Doe," and her killer(s). 

Authorities determined that the young woman was between the ages of 16 and 25.  She had been dead for less than 24 hours when her body was discovered. She was most likely killed on Valentine's Day (February 14) 1991.  

Given the date and way in which she was killed, it is a sad irony that the young woman had a tattoo of a heart with the word, "Love" on her upper left shoulder.  

"Valentine Doe" was last seen by witnesses on the day she died, hitchhiking near the Mile Marker 17 along U.S. Highway 1. This is the only major roadway linking the Florida Keys to Miami.  
Composite of how "Valentine Doe" was dressed on Feb. 14th

Her body was later found approximately 18 miles from where she was last seen near Mile Marker 17.  Authorities believed that she was heading north before her brutal death.

Authorities suspect that "Valentine Doe" may not have been from the Florida Keys and was not there for long. Monroe County Sheriff's Office Detective Manuel Cuervo explained in an interview with Crime Watch Daily, "We believe that she is from a northern territory, due to the fact that she did not have any tan lines."

Along with the "Love" tattoo and her lack of tan lines, there are additional clues that may help identify "Valentine Doe" and her killer(s):

- As shown in the composite picture, she had 4 piercings in each ear
- She was 5'5" tall and weighed approx. 130 lbs. She had brown eyes and brown hair
- She had one additional tattoo, a "radiating" cross on her left hand

- According to Det. Cuervo, she had "carried a child full-term." 
She had been pregnant sometime before her death and had stretch marks on her abdomen.  
- She suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease and had a large cyst on her right ovary. She would have experienced pain with both conditions and sought medical help.
- She wore clothing not typical for South Florida. This includes black moccasins with turquoise-style bead work and a "Forenza" brand cardigan.  

- The "horseshoe" area where she was found was a recreational area, known to be popular with windsurfers & campers. 

Crime Watch Daily has a short, but very detailed video on this case, featuring great interviews with investigators from NCMEC & the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.  

WARNING: I'm not embedding it on my blog because it contains graphic images of postmortem photos of "Valentine Doe's" face.  
Here's the link:

As investigators discussed in the Crime Watch Daily segment, it's possible that "Valentine Doe" had a child who would be at least 25 years old today. 

If you have ANY information on this case, please contact:

Monroe County Sheriff's Office: (305) 853-3211

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: 
1-800- THE- LOST

Case Profiles:
NamUs Case: UP # 6182

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 
NCMEC Case # 1103868

The Doe Network, Case # 49UFFL

Sources of Information:

Help ID Me- NCMEC Facebook page: "Who Is "Valentine Doe?" Feb. 12, 2015

NCMEC Blog- "Who Is "Valentine Doe?" Feb. 12, 2015

The Doe Network, Case #49UFFL - Unidentified Female:

HLN TV Article, "After 25 years, police continue to search for ID of 'Valentine Doe'", by Cortney Peltz, Feb 15, 2016

CBS News, "25 years later, push continues to ID, 'Valentine Doe'" by Erin Donaghue, Feb 12, 2016

Crime Watch Daily, "'Valentine Jane Doe,' Murdered in Florida Keys, Remains Unidentified 25 Years Later," Feb. 12, 2016