On March 1st, 1992 in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, Barbara Leverton pulled her semi-truck to the side of Interstate 80 to switch fuel tanks and enjoy some coffee. What she found was something much more sinister than the discarded rubbish it first appeared to be. It was the nude body of a woman laying at the bottom of the snowy ditch near Bitter Creek.
Initially, authorities believed the woman to be Native American, but DNA testing revealed her heritage as Caucasian and Hispanic. She was around 5’8″ tall, 125-130 lbs, with dark brown or black hair. Bitter Creek Betty, as she was nicknamed, would have been between 24 and 32-years-old upon her death. Betty had been brutally murdered sometime in later 1991 or early 1992 and dropped from the side of the road to rest at the bottom of the embankment. The cold weather preserved her features in a way that made authorities believe she could be identified. This would not be the case.
The unidentified woman had been brutalised by her killer before being killed by an ice pick inserted into her nostril. She had a distinct tattoo of a rose on her chest that was tied to an Arizona tattoo shop, but did not help in her identification. Bitter Creek Betty remains unidentified.
Just a month later, another body was discovered in the Cowboy State, this time on the side of Interstate 90 in Sheridan County. This woman would be known as the Sheridan County Jane Doe, but her discovery would only complicate the 27 year old cold case. This Jane Doe had been bludgeoned to death and appeared to be between 16 and 21 years old. She wore a pair of blue jeans and a white checked midriff shirt tied around the waist.
Decades later, when both women had been identified and buried in the Rest Haven Memorial Gardens Cemetery without headstones, DNA evidence would tie their fates together. An FBI Cold Case unit would find that DNA from the suspect in both cases was an identical match and that both women were murdered by the same man.
The killer remains unknown, but the most prevalent theory is that the two women were hitchhikers who were both preyed on by the same sadistic killer. Regardless, neither woman has been identified. If you have any information on these women, you can contact the NamUs national information for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed cases across the U.S.