Help Solve a Mystery: Who Was Atlantic Highlands’ Jane Doe?

Help Solve a Mystery: Who Was Atlantic Highlands Jane Doe?

Drew Eldridge, Staff Writer

It was Dec. 10, 1988, and a group of men were clearing land for the new Henry Hudson Trail in Atlantic Highlands when they came across a large white toy ball. The men assumed some summer-loving child had left yet another toy in the dense brush facing the water on Bayside Drive, a popular spot for children, teens, and anyone wanting their own slice of the Jersey Shore.
But as the men took a closer look, they realized this was not a ball at all, this was a human skull.
It is unclear what happened next. Atlantic Highlands police were alerted, as were state police. The rest of the victim’s remains were found, along with several items of clothing. The remains were exhumed. Dental impressions were taken, as were pictures of the small clothing items found near the body. The body was in advanced stages of decomposition, and investigators actually sought help from a forensic botanist to help determine how long the remains had been there. The examiner determined the remains had been there for as many as five to 15 years, and the victim was presumed to be between 15 and 30 years old.
Older members of Atlantic Highlands began to speculate. There had been a murder in the town just 20 years prior in 1969. Robert Zarinsky, one of N.J.’s most notorious serial killers, had kidnapped 17-year-old Rosemary Calandriello from one of Atlantic Highlands’s busiest streets. A group of Atlantic Highlands teenagers witnessed the kidnapping.
When Rosemarie’s mother informed police her daughter had not returned home, they went to her home assuming an unruly teen had run away. The police arrived at the home and began to question Callendriello on her daughter’s activities and character. However, that same group of teenagers who witnessed the kidnapping happened to also witness the cop car pull into the Callandriello family’s driveway. It was then they knew that something truly sinister had occurred.
Zarinsky admitted to Rosemary’s kidnapping and murder in 1988. He told investigators he had buried her “somewhere in north east New Jersey.” Police pushed further for a more specific answer to the body’s location, and Zarinsky replied that he had actually “dumped the body in the Atlantic Ocean.” Rosemary’s body has remained missing to this day.
State Police knew that Zarinsky had struck Atlantic Highlands before. They also knew the body had been here for quite some time. Many N.J. investigators believe that this Jane Doe is a possible victim of Zarinsky, although Jane Doe’s death remains undetermined.
Jane Doe’s body was registered immediately in the official library of NJ’s missing and unidentified persons. There are several sketches and reconstructions of Jane Doe which can be found here:
There are also several images of the Jane Doe’s clothing items found beside her. Dental Records and DNA of Jane Doe are available upon request to the NJ State Police Department.
I urge each and every reader of this short article, to share the link to Jane Doe above. She is someone’s daughter, sister, or friend. No one deserves to have their identity taken from them. Everyone deserves to know the fate of their loved ones. Someone out there does not. Sharing the link to Jane Doe’s case file put’s us one step closer to connecting a torn family with their lost loved one.



Missing Persons Website:

Phone or Email:

(609) 882-2000 ext 2554

E-mail: [email protected]