Parents Identified from 1996 Newborn Death Investigation

SAC Joe Lestina
Special Agent In Charge

January 27, 2024        

LISBON, Iowa - On November 10, 1996, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a deceased newborn at a rural farmstead at 14 Highway 30 near Lisbon, IA.  The caller reported the body of a newborn female had been found in a garbage bag in the barn.  Law enforcement responded to the scene and located a deceased newborn female as reported by the caller.  After an exhaustive investigation, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) were unable to identify the infant, her parents, or the circumstances surrounding her death. 

The unidentified infant was ultimately named “Baby Jane Lincoln” as Highway 30 was previously known as the Old Lincoln Highway.

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Baby Jane and listed her cause of death to be “probable exposure” and the manner of death to be “undetermined.” 

Recent advances in DNA testing have identified the parents of Baby Jane as Luke Dean Wilson (43 years old) and Samantha Light Hope (43 years old). 

The circumstances surrounding the death of Baby Jane remain under investigation and the public is encouraged to contact the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office should they possess any information that may assist in the investigation.  

Additionally, the public is encouraged to contact the Iowa DCI Missing Person Information Clearinghouse at 515-725-6036 if they have any information related to any missing person or unidentified human remains investigation.

No further information will be released at this time.  

ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.