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'Macon Jane Doe' identified as victim of prolific serial killer 46 years after remains were found

Samuel Little is considered the most prolific serial killer in US history.

MACON, Ga. — The remains of a woman found in Macon more than 45 years ago have been identified as a 20-year-old woman murdered by the most prolific serial killer in US history.

20-year-old Yvonne Pless was found off Arkwright Road 46 years ago and has been known as “Macon Jane Doe” until now. 

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to solve her case and return her remains home to Macon. 

Pless was identified as a victim of Samuel Little, who confessed to killing 93 women, including eight victims in Georgia before he died in 2020. 

Captain Shermaine Jones of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and Amy Hutsell, the Program Director for CJCC’s Sexual Assault, Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Unit, started working on the case in 2018 when the now-deceased serial killer confessed to killing two women in Macon. 

The first was Pless in 1977, and the other was Fredonia Smith, who was killed in Washington Park in 1982. 

Jones and Hutsell interviewed Little in Wise County, Texas, in 2019, where Little confessed to both unsolved Macon cold cases. 

“Thanks to the dedication of Captain Shermaine Jones and Director Amy Hutsell, the family members of Yvonne Pless and Fredonia Smith now have closure concerning their missing or victimized loved one,” Sheriff David Davis said. “I believe with continued dedication, teamwork, and advancement in technology, we can bring that same closure to other awaiting families.”

Jones closed both cases and notified Smith’s relatives. Jones and Hutsell began working together again in 2022 to identify “Macon Jane Doe.” They were able to identify Pless using forensic genetic genealogy. They were able to notify her remaining family members.

“We were pleased to collaborate with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office to provide long-awaited answers in these cases,” CJCC Executive Director Jay Neal said. “We hope that these answers have brought healing to the families of these victims.”


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