A devastating death rocked the small town of Lisbon, Iowa nearly 30 years ago.

In 1996, law enforcement did not have the technological advancements that they have now. So, a case involving the death of an unknown infant went unsolved for years.

Now, there seems to have been some headway made in the case.

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Original 1996 Findings Near Lisbon

Officials from the Iowa Department of Public Safety released information regarding the initial findings nearly thirty years ago. On November 10th, 1996, local law enforcement responded to a devastating call.

This caller claimed that a body of a newborn female was discovered inside of a garbage bag in the barn. Cedar County Sheriff’s Office officials reported that this farmstead that the remains were found in was located at 14 Highway 30 near Lisbon.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Officials found the deceased baby in the exact way that the caller described it.

When an autopsy was performed on the body, her cause of death was determined to be “probable exposure” whilst the manner of death was “undetermined.”

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the county sheriff's office could not identify the baby or the parents.

Officials called her “Baby Jane Lincoln.” She was named after the stretch of highway she was found by.

Highway 30 was previously known as the Old Lincoln Highway, according to reports.

So, the case ran cold for nearly thirty years.

Until now...


A Break in the Case

Over the past decade, there have been some major developments in the world of DNA science and testing.

Now, in 2024, the parents of Baby Jane Lincoln have been identified as Luke Dean Wilson (43 years old) and Samantha Light Hope (43 years old).

In 1996, these two individuals would have both been 15 or 16 years old.

The circumstances and exact details surrounding the infant's death are still undetermined according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Law Enforcement Needs Your Help

Officials are still trying to piece together just what went down in that barn in November of 1996.

So, if you have any information that could help them conclude this decades long case, you are encouraged to contact the Iowa DCI Missing Person Information Clearinghouse at 515-725-6036.

This is still a developing story. We will keep you updated as more details regarding the case are made public.

Stay up to date with everything going on in Eastern Iowa by downloading the free station app from your app store. Also, do not forget to follow the station across all social media platforms for the latest news updates.

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