Tennessee’s “Baby Girl” Doe Identified Nearly 40 Years Later as Missing Indiana Teen

Tracy Sue Walker

Forty-four years after Tracy Sue Walker disappeared, her family is one step closer to learning the reason why.

One day in 1978, the pretty 15-year-old went to the Tippecanoe Mall, where she was seen talking to a friend. She never came home again.

Although details are scare due to the events occuring pre-digitization, investigators say Tracy’s mother reported her as a runaway to local police – twice. Then the trail ran cold.

Nearly four hundred miles and seven years later, skeletal remains were found in the Big Wheel Gap area of Elk Valley, an unincorporated area north of Knoxville, Tennessee. An autopsy determined the body found April 3, 1985 belonged to a white female, probably between the ages of 10 and 15. When the subsequent investigation could not uncover anything else about the deceased girl, authorities affectionately nicknamed her “Baby Girl.”

Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation never forgot “Baby Girl.” Over the years they continued to work the few leads at their disposal, submitting her DNA profile to various databases such as the Combined DNA Index System and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that they received a break in the case.

In June, a private lab specializing in forensic genealogy testing was able to locate a possible genetic link between and current citizens of Indiana. A TBI agent contacted the Lafayette-area residents, who confirmed they had a sister who went missing in 1978. DNA samples submitted to CODIS verified the match: “Baby Girl” Doe was Tracy Sue Walker.

Police now hope to find out what led to the pretty high school sophomore’s death and how she ended up so far from home. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff would like to speak with anyone who has information about Tracy’s last known whereabouts or individuals she was in contact with prior to her disappearance.

A statement has not been released concerning whether or not police suspect foul play.


If you have information about Tracy Sue Walker, please call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (1-800-TBI-FIND) or the Tippecanoe Sheriff’s office (765-423-9321).

Author: IndianaInfamy.com

Writer, photographer, book hoarder, rabble-rouser Contact me on Twitter (@IndianaInfamy) or by email (@IndianaInfamy.gmail.com).

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