On October 29, 2006, two men found the body of an unidentified woman near Longview, Texas. Twelve years later, the police confirmed that the body belonged to Dana Dodd.
The case remained unsolved for more than a decade as it was impossible for the investigators to narrow down on who the victim really was.
In 2018, a man named Joseph Wayne Burnette was arrested in connection with Dodd's murder. He was arrested for an unrelated case but after being questioned, made a full confession. Burnette told the police that he had killed Dodd and burnt her body to a point beyond recognition.
Oxygen's Dateline will uncover the mystery relating to this chilling murder case. The episode, titled The Woman With No Name, will be part of their true-crime series Secrets Uncovered. Tune in on January 25.
The synopsis of the episode reads as follows -
Police are perplexed when they find the body of a young woman but are unable to identify her; with the help of amateur investigators and new DNA technology, a dogged investigator finds her killer and her identity.
Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of murder and dismemberment. Discretion is advised.
Read on to find out what happened to Dana Dodd, how the case was solved and more
Who was Dana Dodd aka Lavender Doe?
Dana Dodd reportedly had a difficult childhood. Her mother left her when she was still an infant and her father was arrested multiple times. She was evetually under the care of her stepmother, but a few years later, she left home and started working for a traveling magazine sales crew and landed in Texas.
How did she meet Joseph Wayne Burnette?
According to Burnette, he met Dodd in the parking lot of a Walmart in Longview where she was selling magazines. He claimed that Dodd also tried to sell him the magazine but he refused to take it, instead offering to have sex with him. Dana agreed and the two ended up having sex in Burnette's car.
How was her body discovered?
On October 29, 2006 Dana's body was found in a wooded area near Longview, Texas by two men. She was kept face down in a burning woodpile and her body was burnt beyond recognition.
However, the police were still able to deduce some information about the unidentified body. She was a Caucasian woman between the age 17 and 25 and had strawberry blonde hair.
Dana was wearing a pale purple shirt and jeans which led the media to call her Lavender, as her identity was yet to be revealed. The police also found $40 inside her pocket.
An autopsy done on her revealed that she had semen inside her and concluded that she must have had sexual intercourse recently.
How did the police zero down on the murderer?
The semen found inside her led the police to Joseph Wayne Burnette and he confessed that he did have sex with her but did not reveal any other information.
On July 24, 2018, the body of Felisha Pearson was found in Longview, who was reported missing a week ago. Investigations revealed that Pearson and Burnette were dating.
Further digging into the matter brought the truth out. Burnette was the one who committed both the murders.
Where is Burnette now?
Burnette admitted to having killed Dana. He also narrated to the police the whole story of how he met her and confessed to proposing to her for sex and alleged that she stole money from him.
The man then proceeded to strangle her and burn the body but he made sure to leave the $40 in her pocket because she "deserved" it.
Burnette was convicted of the two murders and was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment.