OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – During a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, the man who is charged with the murder of his biological daughter, Amore Wiggins, in the decade-old Opelika Baby Jane Doe case, reportedly made a shocking confession. He reportedly admitted to the murder during a videotaped interview with police after he waived his Miranda rights.
Lamar Vickerstaff faces murder charges, while his wife Ruth Vickerstaff, who is not Amore’s biological mother, is accused of failing to report a missing child. Preliminary hearings for both defendants were held on Wednesday, a judge determined there was sufficient probable cause to proceed to a grand jury.
Opelika Police Detective Alfred White spoke for prosecutors and testified that Lamar Vickerstaff admitted to killing Amore, but claimed he did not abuse her prior to her death. Detective White said some of Vickerstaff’s statements were credible, but detectives questioned other details he shared.
“He said over and over again that he did it and that he wanted his wife not to be charged, and that’s what he was looking for in some kind of deal that he wanted to make. He has said he had traveled with her (Amore) from Virginia to Alabama, and he said that when he got to Alabama he went around, he remembers placing her (Amore) where she was eventually found. He did not give details of how he did it, but he did indicate that he attempted to resuscitate her,” Detective White said.
Detective White says that when he asked Lamar how he killed Amore, he denied causing the injuries until his death, but said when he returned from deployment he had to “get rid of” his daughter.
During Detective White’s testimony, we also learned that Virginia Child Protective Services had been called to investigate an anonymous report of abuse and injury to Amore while in Ruth’s custody. According to Detective White, Ruth admitted the CPS was called, but she claims the CPS said everything was fine. Detective White testified that Opelika Police were trying to get their hands on CPS records in Virginia, however, the records cannot be found by CPS employees in Virginia at this time.
Detective White testified although Ruth initially denied knowing Lamar had a daughter, she later admitted knowing Amore existed. Detective White said Ruth claims the last time she saw Amore, her father was taking her to his family in Alabama, and Ruth never thought to ask about Amore again.
Lamar Vickerstaff is currently being held at the Lee County Detention Center without bond. Ruth Vickerstaff was released with $10,000 and can now travel to Jacksonville, Fla., with an ankle monitor, on a judge’s order on Wednesday. Lee County prosecutors had asked the judge not to allow Ruth to leave Alabama, saying they received an anonymous phone call saying Ruth had already returned to Florida even though the judge had ordered her to stay in Alabama .
Meanwhile, according to court documents, a witness statement puts Lamar Vickerstaff in Opelika during the estimated time of death of Amore Wiggin between 2010 and 2011. the Navy before a scheduled meeting with Opelika, Florida police. Navy Vickerstaff’s AWOL is one of the reasons the judge decided to deny defense attorney Lamar Vickerstaff’s bail application under Aniah’s Law.
On January 28, 2012, Opelika police responded to the Brookhaven Trailer Park, located at 1775 Hurst Street in Opelika, AL, about the discovery of skeletal remains. One skull was in the yard of a residence while the majority of the bones were only a few feet down the timber line behind a trailer and adjacent land. During the search of the area, a pink child’s shirt and a small tuft of curly hair were also found. The remains were sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, where a medical examination was carried out. The report said the remains were those of a black woman believed to be between the ages of 4 and 7, known affectionately to the community as Baby Jane Doe. An autopsy was performed and noted fractures to the skull, arms, legs, shoulders and ribs; totaling more than 15 individual fractures attributed to blunt trauma.
Opelika’s Baby Jane Doe case is as complicated as it is tragic. The following timeline of events explains what we have learned so far and how Amore Wiggins was identified, and her father and wife arrested.
January 1, 2006: Amore Wiggins is born in Virginia to her mother Mrs. Sherry Wiggins
2009: Amore’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff, and his wife Ruth are granted legal and physical custody
2009-2022: Sherry Wiggins pays Vickerstaff child support for Amore. The visitations suddenly stop and Wiggins goes to court to try to regain custody of Amore
January 28, 2012: Birth of the Opelika Baby Jane Doe case. Tiny skull remains found at Brookhaven Trailer Park in Opelika, Alabama
2012: remains sent to FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for examination. The remains are 4-7 year old black females. The autopsy reveals more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt trauma, signs of healing and malnutrition. The death determined a homicide, believed to have taken place between the summer of 2010 and 2011
2012-2022: Police review 15,000 files and investigate thousands of tips
2016: Surface photos of a girl taken at the Greater Peace Baptist Church Bible School in Opelika circa 2011. Police believe the girl may 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, friends who lived near the location of the body. During his career in the United States Navy, he resided in Norfolk, Virginia, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Jacksonville, Florida.
December 2022: Opelika detectives inform Vickerstaff Jr of his daughter’s death and question him and his wife Ruth Vickerstaff. The couple do not provide information on the identity of Jane Doe
December 2022: Amore Wiggins identified as Baby Jane Doe. Detectives meet Sherry Wiggins, DNA confirms she is the biological mother. Wiggins provides documents showing that Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff were granted legal and physical custody in 2009
December 2022: Detectives contact school boards, pediatric clinics in multiple states and determine Amore was never enrolled in school or reported missing
January 1, 2023: Amore Wiggins would have turned 17
January 17, 2023: Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff arrested in Jacksonville, Florida. Lamar is charged with felony murder. Ruth arrested for failing to report missing child under Caylee’s Law
The Opelika community was left in shock on January 28, 2012, when tiny skeletal remains were discovered at Brookhaven Trailer Park near Hurst Street.
The remains were determined to be a young black woman between the ages of four and seven. An autopsy revealed more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt trauma, evidence of healing and malnutrition. The child’s death was determined to be a homicide, which allegedly took place between the summer of 2010 and 2011.
For the next decade, the Opelika Police Department devoted itself to uncovering the truth, restoring the little girl’s name, and bringing justice to those who killed her.
Opelika Police attempted to develop a DNA profile for Jane Doe, but were unsuccessful due to the condition of the remains. Fortunately, with progress, in January 2022 DNA was again extracted for genealogy testing. Othram Labs successfully extracted DNA from scalp and Astrea Labs from hair. A complete genealogical profile has been constructed. Once uploaded, an experienced genealogist used the profile to identify Baby Jane Doe’s relatives and investigative leads.
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