OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The Lee County District Attorney is seeking a court denial of bail for Lamar Vickerstaff, the man accused of the decades-long murder of his daughter Amore Wiggins, known as Opelika’s “Baby Jane Doe.”
The hearing of Aniah, named after Auburn’s Aniah Blanchard, will be held Monday with Lee County Circuit Judge Jeff Tickal. This will be Aniah’s first hearing to be covered by WRBL since Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment to the Alabama Constitution last November.
“Aniah’s Law is named after my daughter, Aniah Blanchard, who was abducted from Auburn and murdered on October 23, 2019. The person who killed Aniah was in custody for multiple violent crimes,” said Angela Harris, Aniah’s mother.
Aniah’s Law gives a judge more discretion to post bail to defendants charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape, bestiality, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, arson, robbery, along with Class A felonies, terrorism and aggravated child abuse to refuse child 6 years old or younger. Before voters passed Aniah’s law, the Alabama defendants were able to obtain bail unless they were charged with capital murder.
Lee County prosecutors will ask Tickal to deny bail for Vickerstaff during Monday’s hearing. His wife Ruth is charged with failing to report a missing child. She’s traveling with a $10,000 bond.
According to court documents, Opelika investigators allege that testimony placed Lamar Vickerstaff during the estimated time of Amore’s death between 2010 and 2011 in the Opelika RV on Hurst Street. Additionally, Vickerstaff allegedly went AWOL from the Navy to avoid meeting with the Opelika police about the Florida case.
The inquest suggests Amore sustained serious physical injuries, including over 15 broken bones, which led to her death while in her father’s care. Anyone with information that might assist the police is encouraged to call the Detective Division of the Opelika Police Department at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665.
Opelika’s case of Baby Jane Doe is as complicated as it is tragic. The following timeline of events explains what we have learned so far, how Amore Wiggins was identified and what led to the arrest of her father and his wife.
January 1, 2006: Amore Wiggins was born in Virginia to Mrs. Sherry Wiggins
2009: Amore’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff, and his wife Ruth are granted legal physical custody
2009-2022: Sherry Wiggins pays Vickerstaff child support for Amore. The visits suddenly stop and Wiggins goes to court to regain custody of Amore
January 28, 2012: Opelika Baby Jane Doe case born. Tiny skull fragments were found at Brookhaven Trailer Park in Opelika, Alabama
2012: Remains sent to FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for examination. The remnants are black women between the ages of 4 and 7. Autopsy reveals more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt force trauma, evidence of healing and malnutrition. Death established a murder believed to have taken place between the summer of 2010 and 2011
2012-2022: Police review 15,000 case files and follow up on thousands of leads
2016: Surface images of a girl taken at Opelika Greater Peace Baptist Church Bible School circa 2011. Police believe the girl could be Baby Jane Doe
January 2022: DNA extracted from remains for genealogical testing
October 2022: Jane Doe’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff Jr. identified. Vickerstaff was born and raised in Opelika, Alabama. Police say he had family and friends who lived near the site. During his US Navy career, he lived in Norfolk, Virginia, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Jacksonville, Florida.
December 2022: Opelika Detectives notify Vickerstaff Jr. of his daughter’s death and question him and his wife, Ruth Vickerstaff. The couple has not released Jane Doe’s identity
December 2022: Amore Wiggins is identified as Baby Jane Doe. Detectives meet with Sherry Wiggins, DNA confirms she is birth mother. Wiggins provides documents showing Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff received legal and physical custody in 2009
December 2022: Detectives contact school boards and children’s hospitals in several states and discover that Amore was never enrolled in a school or reported missing
January 1st: Amore Wiggins would have celebrated her 17th birthday
January 17th: Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff were arrested in Jacksonville, Florida. Lamar was charged with felony murder. Ruth arrested for failing to report a missing child under Caylee’s law.