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Kelly, The El Dorado Jane Doe – TRUE CRIME REPORT

Kelly is the name of a once unidentified murder victim from 1991. She was formerly known as the El Dorado Jane Doe. Kelly went by several aliases, and for decades her true identity was unknown until May 2022.

Out of privacy for her family, Kelly’s last name has not been publicly released. Kelly was born in Virginia 1968 to a woman named Brenda. She grew up only knowing her stepfather as a father figure, and it was said that her biological father was unaware of her existence.

young Kelly

After her mother and stepfather divorced in 1971, Kelly’s mother Brenda remarried another man some time later. This man was abusive to Brenda, Kelly, and Kelly’s younger sister. Brenda and the man stayed together for several years, and had another baby that Brenda later gave away to a nearby farm family. Brenda and the man later got divorced, and she got remarried again some months later. However, the marriage ended in 1979 after the husband committed suicide.

After this, Brenda moved away to Virginia Beach and sent Kelly and her sister to live with their aunt in Charlottesville, Virginia. The girls stayed with their aunt for about a year and a half until their mom asked Kelly to come live with her. After moving in with her mom, Kelly withdrew from school in 10th grade and began working at a beach jewelry kiosk.

Kelly began facing more troubles during this time. At some point, Brenda stole merchandise from the kiosk and Kelly had to return it to prevent her mother from going to jail. After the summer of 1983, they were forced to move 3-4 times for not paying rent. About a year after this, Kelly asked to move back in with her aunt because she couldn’t handle dealing with her mother’s drug addiction. However, it was soon found that Kelly too had an addiction after her mother introduced her to the drug at only 16. Kelly later underwent drug rehabilitation in 1986 and went on to try and help her mom overcome her addiction.

After completing rehab, Kelly went to live with another aunt in Texas. After living there for some time, Kelly’s aunt found “sexy clothing” in her suitcase, soon finding out that she worked as an exotic dancer. Kelly lived with a boyfriend for some time after this, but then left and relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas. She lived here from 1986-1989, until moving back to Florida with her mom and her sister, who also lived with there. However, Kelly’s sister soon moved back out, and then Kelly moved to Norfolk, Virginia in 1990. Later that year, Kelly also travelled to Dallas, Texas.

While staying in Dallas, Kelly worked at a KFC for some time. However, she was also arrested for prostitution, beginning her arrest record. She was arrested in December 1990 under the name Cheryl Ann Wick. She was arrested in Dallas again the following month. In February 1991, she was arrested in Garland, Texas under the name Cheryl Ann Wick again. Kelly then left Texas, and lived in Shreveport, Louisiana for some time before moving to El Dorado, Arkansas. She was arrested a last time in May 1991 as Cheryl Ann Wick.

Kelly’s El Dorado mugshot

While living in Texas, Kelly met a man named James McAlphin. They began a relationship, that soon turned to domestic violence that sent Kelly to the emergency room several times. He also began pimping Kelly out. In June 1991, Kelly left James and began living with a friend named Andrea in El Dorado.

On July 10, 1991 James convinced Kelly to come to the Whitehall Motel, Room 121 with an offer of money. A neighbor states that he witnessed the interaction between the two. The neighbor states that as Kelly tried walking away, James came after her and hit her, before dragging her back into the room, saying “get back in the room bitch”. The neighbor says he then heard the two arguing before hearing a gunshot. Multiple witnesses said that James then got in his vehicle and sped off.

Kelly’s body was found in the room; she was only 23 years old. Autopsy reports state that her cause of death was a broken neck, and she was shot post-mortem. With the witnesses able to identify James, he was arrested and charged with first degree murder and second degree battery, despite his false claims.

In Kelly’s possessions, investigators found an ID with the name Cheryl Ann Wick. However, when contacting the Wick family to inform them of her death, investigators found that the real Cheryl Ann Wick was very much alive. They then found out that the woman’s identity had been stolen. The real Cheryl suspected it was stolen while she was working as an exotic dancer, but claims she never knew Kelly.

With this investigation, it was found that Kelly used multiple names, including: Mercedes ( how friends knew her), Cheryl Ann Wick (the ID she used), as well as Kelly Lee Carr, Kelly Karr, Shannon Wiley, Cheryl Kaufman, and Sharon Wiley, which were all not her real name. It has now been revealed that Kelly began using the stolen identity in 1984-1985 because the clubs she worked at only hired dancers that were 18 and over. With all these names, but none belonging to her, the investigators had no idea who Kelly really was and she became known as the El Dorado Jane Doe, one of the most enigmatic Jane Doe cases.

Throughout her life and travels, Kelly told people different stories from her past. She told her friend Andrea that she used to be a stripper and had 2 kids that her mother took care of. She also told others that she was in the witness protection program and her father was in the mafia. It was also rumored that she was wanted for a bank robbery, but these claims were not backed up when investigated by police.

Kelly also told people that she would accompany an African American male to truck stops to lure men to rob. She stated that this led to the death of one driver. Police suspected that she was referring to the November 1988 murder of a truck driver named Dwayne McCorkendale; a white female and black male in a Ford pinto were near the crime scene at the time. No definitive ties have connected the case to Kelly though. Kelly also previously told a volunteer at a Salvation Army that she lived at a local homeless shelter in Dallas, and her daughter was taken away. However, these claims have not been proven either.

For decades, Kelly remained unidentified. Her case grew immense attention as people were fascinated by the victim’s use of several identities. Finally in 2019, a second cousin of Kelly’s living in Alabama was identified through genetic genealogy. The cousin did not recognize Kelly, but did state she resembled people in the family. Then on May 24, 2022, forensic specialist Yolanda McClary published an article revealing Kelly’s identity, finally giving answers to who the El Dorado Jane Doe was.

It is amazing to know that Kelly finally has her identity back after decades of mystery surrounding her identity. The background of what happened to Kelly and her life is truly saddening. I hope that Kelly can now find some peace in the afterlife.



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Photo by Xu Haiwei on Unsplash