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One final chapter in Jane Doe story

March 5, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor ( , Faribault County Register

I am sure most of our readers remember the story of Michelle Busha. Or, maybe you remember her better as Blue Earth's Jane Doe.

It was one of the most intriguing stories I have ever been involved with.

You probably remember the gist of it.

Article Photos

Michelle Yvette Busha, Blue Earth’s Jane Doe, is the subject of one chapter in a new book about families of the long time missing people and the hope they have.

A young woman's nude, strangled body was found in a drainage ditch just east of Blue Earth in 1980.

She was buried in Riverside Cemetery, given the name Jane Doe, and she remained there unidentified for years. In March 2015, she was finally identified, through DNA tests, as a girl from Bay City, Texas, Michelle Yvette Busha. She was just 18 when she had been brutally murdered.

Her killer turned out to be a Minnesota State Highway Trooper. He is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for another crime.

Busha's exhumed body was returned to Texas for burial by her family.

That is the basic story.

But, there is a whole lot more to it.

Here at the Faribault County Register, several reporters and editors over the years have written stories about the case, from the beginning when her body was first discovered, to more recently the story of her being identified and her body finally going home.

And while I think we did a good job of telling the story of Jane Doe, now Michelle Busha, over the years, it was done as a series of news stories.

The whole, entire detailed story of Jane/Michelle, from beginning to end, was never written.

Until now.

Silvia Pettem, a research writer from Colorado, who specializes in unsolved missing persons cases, has written a new book. It is titled "The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families."

And, one chapter in the book is all about Blue Earth's Jane Doe/Michelle Busha.

I have been in contact with Ms Pettem since she first started this project, and gave her just a little bit of help with it.

Now she has graciously sent me a copy of the chapter on Jane Doe for my review. I found it fascinating.

In its 16 pages, Pettem has told the whole story in detail. She used data from law enforcement files, interviews with Michelle's family members, and yes, several quotes from the pages of both the Blue Earth Post and the Faribault County Register from over the years.

And, she uses extensive information about, and from, Deb Anderson of Blue Earth, who kept the search for Jane Doe's true identity alive until she finally had her real name revealed.

Keeping hope alive is the overall theme of the book.

Perhaps you have heard and read enough about Blue Earth's Jane Doe story over the years.

But, if, like many of us, you have been fascinated, horrified or intrigued by it, then I highly recommend reading Pettem's book especially Chapter 11.

That chapter is titled "Retrospect: Inside a (Previously) Cold Case," and is devoted entirely to the case of Michelle Busha.

The book is not being released until March 17. I would guess it will be available on Amazon or wherever you buy books these days. Or you could go to Pettem's website at to find ordering information. While you are there you could also find out more information about the author and her quest to help families of missing persons locate their loved ones.

Or, perhaps the book will sometime be available at our local library.

I guess this book could be called the final chapter in the story of our Jane Doe.

The story of Michelle Yvette Busha.



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