Alisha and Gwendolyn Heinrich

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WALA) -- The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has released the identity of the victim in a Baby Jane Doe cold case.

In December 1982, a toddler was found dead under Interstate 10 on the banks of the Escatawpa River. She has been identified as Alisha Ann Heinrich.

Officials say her mother, Gwendolyn, is also missing. Officials say they have a suspect in mind. 

According to investigators, drivers reported seeing a woman walking on the side of I-10 and carrying a baby two nights before the unidentified child's body was found back in 1982.

"They were walking on the side of the road and several people offered her a ride she refused and we’re assuming that’s the mother of the baby that was found because no one has ever found out who that was and nobody has reported a child missing or the woman,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Captain Chris Stratton said in a 2017 WXXV interview with Shelby Myers.

Authorities said Alisha was approximately 18-months old when she died. The child was buried in Pascagoula after investigators could not identify her.

Her body was exhumed in 2008 to extract DNA for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children databases, but no matches were made.

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