One of Yosemite’s most disturbing cold cases just got a little closer to resolution – but it remains a mystery if Patricia Hicks met her end at the hands of a serial killer, a fugitive cult leader or something else.
In 1983, a family visiting Summit Meadow made a horrific discovery. While the children were enjoying the clearing, one of them came across a human hand and forearm. When investigators arrived, they guessed the arm had frozen over the winter and had recently thawed. Despite extensive searches, no other body parts were found until 1988, when a jawless skull was discovered nearby. Investigators combed through missing person reports and waited for someone to tell the story of a long-lost relative, but no one did. Over the decades, forensic anthropologists have attempted several recreations of the woman’s face based on genetic markers and the shape of the skull. But still, Summit Meadow Jane Doe was an enigma.