About Sahara Sue: Murdered American child (1954 - 1979) | Biography, Facts, Career, Life
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Sahara Sue
Murdered American child

Sahara Sue

Sahara Sue
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Murdered American child
From United States of America
Gender female
Birth 1954
Death 14 August 1979, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, U.S.A. (aged 25 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Sahara Sue is the informal nickname given to a murder victim who was found in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 14, 1979. Her identity is not known. She was nicknamed "Sahara Sue" because her body was found near the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, at the intersection of Sahara and Las Vegas avenues. Recent developments indicate she may have used the name "Shawna" or "Shauna" when she was alive.

The victim is also known by the fact that she was wearing an upper denture despite her young age, but the lower denture was missing. She was photographed, reconstructed, fingerprinted, and had her DNA analyzed, yet she has remained unidentified for more than 35 years.

Discovery of the body

Sahara Sue's body was found lying face down in a parking lot on August 14, 1979. It was estimated that she had died three to four hours before being found. She had been stabbed several times in the abdomen.

It was reported that a woman matching her description was seen with a white man prior to discovery of the body.

Description of the body

Sahara Sue was a white woman with brown eyes and wavy light brown hair. She was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 100 – 105 pounds. Her age has been estimated to be between 15 and 30. She had no teeth and did wear at least one denture, as the maxillary piece was discovered in her mouth after the body was located. The mandibular piece was not recovered. The nails on her feet and hands had been manicured and painted with red polish.

She was wearing a shirt and hip-hugger jeans. Her shirt was blue and made of linen, with a tie near the waist area. It had red embroidered designs and sequins. Her shoes were not found and it was evident that the killer had removed some of her clothing.


On her right hand, she had a ring made of white gold without any stone. She was wearing two pendant necklaces made of white gold. One pendant had a leaf design and a round turquoise stone. The other was made of plastic and was heart-shaped with a rose design. She was not wearing earrings, and her ears had not been pierced.


Fingerprints were taken from the body and entered into national databases, but no match was found. Her body was exhumed in 2003 to obtain DNA but no match was found. Through these forms of body identification, at least seven missing people have been ruled out as possible identities for Sahara Sue. Pictures of her face have also been released to public websites, and multiple reconstructions of her face also exist.

In 2016, investigation yielded several major developments in the victim's case. Forensic palynology on her clothing indicated she had spent time in Napa Valley or Central Valley, California sometime prior to her murder. Another potential lead was followed that suggested that Sahara Sue may have ties to a trailer park in the area. Further investigation indicated she could have used the name "Shawna" or "Shauna" and may have been employed at a Holiday Inn or a motel on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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