Monday, February 22, 2021

The Disappearances & Murders of Jewel King, Verdell Jefferson, & Dorothy Butts


Pictured from left to right: Jewel King (48), Verdell Jefferson (41), and Dorothy Butts (43)

Jewel, Verdell, and Dorothy were three unrelated individuals living in the Washington, DC area when they disappeared during 2006. Jewel was the first of the three women to vanish. She was last seen alive on April 7th, 2006, on Galveston Street. Jewel's mother reported her missing a few days later. Verdell vanished a few weeks later, on May 1st, 2006--but was not reported missing until August 2006. Dorothy vanished on Christmas Day 2006, after she left home to go to a local store and never returned. She was reported missing later that day.

It is unclear if the three missing women knew each other, and initially there was no indication that their disappearances were related. Their cases quickly went cold. There was very little media coverage on any of the women. 

Over a decade after their disappearances, during April 2018, construction workers began enlarging a crawl space in the basement of an apartment building in Congress Heights. While working on the crawl space, the workers spotted a set of human remains. Police were called, and a search of the surrounding area led to the discovery of two other sets of human remains. 

Investigators eventually identified the first set of remains as Jewel King Shortly thereafter, it was confirmed that the other sets of remains belonged to Verdell Jefferson and Dorothy Butts. All three women had been murdered. Jewel and Dorothy had been shot to death, while Verdell had been bludgeoned. Investigators have yet to find a connection between the three women, nor have they announced any suspects. However, the DC police chief stated that he believes the women were all killed by the same person. 

The murders of all three women remain unsolved today. If you have any information that could help solve their cases, please call (202) 727-9099 or text 50411 to submit an anonymous tip. 

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