The cold case murder of Jameika Porch - Chattanooga, Tennessee - August 14, 1994

Young girl missing
On the night of August 13-14, 1994, 4-year-old Jameika Porch slept at her grandmother's house, sharing a bed with her 8-year-old nephew. But early the next morning, her grandmother no longer saw the child in the bed. She suspected that Joyce, Jameika's mother, had already picked her up, so she didn't take any further action. However, when she spoke to her on the phone later, she found out that Jameika was not with her mother at all.

Joyce then came to the grandmother's house and searched the entire neighborhood to no avail. Finally, the police were called to report the child's missing.

Compromised Crime Scene
The police investigation was seriously hampered by the fact that no less than seven hours had elapsed between the time the family realized the girl was missing and the time they called the police. In missing persons cases, every hour that passes reduces the chance of a good outcome. Another disadvantage was that the family had touched a lot of things in the house in the meantime, which may have infected evidence.

Police Investigation
Polite combed the entire neighborhood hoping to find any trace of the girl. Together with the Polly Klaas Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding missing children, posters were put up in Tennessee and surrounding states. Detectives examined the home for clues and traces, and spoke to family members. In the meantime, a lot of contact was maintained with the media, in which the police drew attention to the missing person case. People who knew something were asked to contact them as soon as possible.

By talking to family, some small clues emerged. An aunt sleeping one floor up that night heard footsteps around 5am. Chances are that she heard the perpetrator at that moment. The police suspected that the perpetrator entered the house by removing a window panel from the door, because the grandmother said she had found a window panel laying next to the door. She hadn't necessarily noticed, however, because family members all removed this panel from the door if they wanted to enter when the door was locked. Unfortunately, the nephew with whom Jameika had shared the bed with said he had not noticed anything about the disappearance. The young boy hadn't woken up the moment his niece must have been taken out of bed.

The search for the girl in the following weeks resulted in no new clues. The girl seemed to have disappeared in thin air.

Human Remains Found
Years passed in which the investigation was on the back burner. Until on October 21, 1999, human remains were found by logging service workers walking along a train track in a remote area at Riverside Industrial Park off of Amnicola Highway. They alerted the police, who soon arrived and had the area searched by cadaver dogs. About sixty percent of the skeleton was recovered, and it was clear that the remains belonged to a child. The connection with Jameika was therefore quickly made.

Confirmation by DNA
On April 29, 2000, the Chattanooga Police Department announced that a DNA sample from the bones found in October had been compared to that of the missing Jameika, and that a match had been established. Examination of the skeleton revealed that the girl had died of strangulation. The police suspect that the girl had been killed shortly after the kidnapping.

Tips and Information
Jameika's family continues to grieve over the tragic loss of their beloved child. They find comfort in their faith, but hope that the perpetrator will one day be caught and punished for his actions. Do you know more about this infanticide? Then let us hear from you now. Even if it's just a rumor, or a suspicion. Every piece of the puzzle can shed a new light on the case. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below. 

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