OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The Lee County District Attorney is requesting a judge to deny bond for 50-year-old Lamar Vickerstaff who is accused in the decade-old murder of his daughter Amore Wiggins known as Opelika’s beloved Baby Jane Doe.
An Aniah’s hearing, named for Auburn’s Aniah Blanchard, will take place Monday afternoon with Lee County Circuit Judge Jeff Tickal. This will be the first Aniah’s hearing WRBL has covered since Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment to Alabama’s State Constitution in November 2022.
“Aniah’s Law is named after my daughter Aniah Blanchard who was kidnapped from Auburn and murdered on October 23, 2019. The person who killed Aniah was out on bond for multiple violent offenses,” said Blanchard’s mom Angela Harris.
Aniah’s Law gives a judge more discretion to deny bail to defendants charged with first-degree Murder, Kidnapping, Rape, Sodomy, Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, Burglary, Arson, Robbery, along with Class A Felony Terrorism, and Aggravated Child Abuse of a child six years old or younger. Before voters passed Aniah’s Law, Alabama defendants could get a bond unless they were charged with Capital Murder which is killing someone in the commission of another felony.
Lee County prosecutors will ask Judge Tickal to deny bond for Vickerstaff during Monday’s hearing. His wife, Ruth Vickerstaff, is charged with failure to report a missing child. She is out on a $10,000 bond.
According to court documents, Opelika investigators allege a witness statement places Lamar Vickerstaff in Opelika during the estimated time of Amore’s death between 2010 and 2011. Police also allege Vickerstaff knows people who live in the area where the baby’s remains were found back in 2012 behind a mobile home off Hurst Street. Plus, Vickerstaff went AWOL from the Navy to avoid a meeting with Opelika police about the case in Florida.
The investigation suggests Amore suffered serious physical injuries, including over 15 broken bones, which led to her death while in her father’s care. Anyone with information that may help the police is encouraged to call Opelika Police Department Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665.
Opelika’s Baby Jane Doe case is as complicated as it is tragic. The following timeline of events explains what we’ve learned so far, how Amore Wiggins was identified, and what led to the arrest of her dad and his wife.
January 1, 2006: Amore Wiggins was born in Virginia to mother Ms. Sherry Wiggins
2009: Amore’s father, Lamar Vickerstaff, and wife Ruth obtain legal, physical custody
2009-2022: Sherry Wiggins pays child support to Vickerstaff for Amore. Visitations suddenly stop and Wiggins goes to court trying to regain custody of Amore
January 28, 2012: Opelika Baby Jane Doe case born. Tiny skull remains found at Brookhaven Trailer Park in Opelika, Alabama
2012: Remains sent to FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va for examination. Remains are black females between 4-7 years of age. Autopsy reveals more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt force trauma, evidence of healing, and malnourishment. Death determined a homicide, believed to have occurred between the summer of 2010 to 2011
2012-2022: Police review 15,000 case files and investigate thousands of tips
2016: Pics surface of girl taken at Opelika’s Greater Peace Baptist Church Bible School around 2011. Police believe girl may be Baby Jane Doe
January 2022: DNA extracted from remains for genealogy 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 remains location. During his U.S. Navy career, he resided in Norfolk, Va., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Jacksonville, Fla.
December 2022: Opelika Detectives notify Vickerstaff Jr of his daughter’s death and interview him and his wife Ruth Vickerstaff. Couple does not provide information on identity of Jane Doe
December 2022: Amore Wiggins identified as Baby Jane Doe. Detectives meet with Sherry Wiggins, DNA confirms she is biological mother. Wiggins provides docs showing Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff obtained legal and physical custody in 2009
December 2022: Detectives reach out to school boards, pediatric clinics in several states and determine Amore was never enrolled in school nor reported as missing
January 1, 2023: Amore Wiggins would have celebrated her 17th birthday
January 17, 2023: Lamar and Ruth Vickerstaff arrested in Jacksonville, Fla. Lamar charged with Felony Murder. Ruth arrested for Failure to Report a Missing Child under *Caylee’s Law