OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) –During a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, the man who stands accused of murdering his biological daughter, Amore Wiggins, in the decade-old Opelika Baby Jane Doe case, reportedly made a shocking confession. He allegedly admitted to the killing during a videotaped police interview after waiving his Miranda Rights.
Lamar Vickerstaff faces felony murder charges, while his wife Ruth Vickerstaff, who is not Amore’s biological mother, is charged with failing to report a missing child. The preliminary hearings for both defendants happened Wednesday, a judge did determine there is sufficient probable cause to proceed to a Grand Jury.
Opelika Police detective Alfred White took the stand for prosecutors and testified Lamar Vickerstaff admitted to killing Amore, but claimed he did not abuse her before her death. Detective White said some of Vickerstaff’s statements were creditable, but detectives questioned other details he shared.
“He repeatedly said he did it, and he wanted his wife not to be charged, and that is what he was seeking in some sort of deal he wanted to make. He advised he traveled with her (Amore) from Virginia to Alabama, and he stated once he made it to Alabama, he drove around. He recalled placing her (Amore) where she was ultimately found. He did not give details as to how he did it, but he advised he did attempt to resuscitate her,” Detective White testified.
Detective White says when he asked Lamar how he killed Amore, he denied causing the injuries up to her death but said when he returned from deployment is when he had to “get rid” of his daughter.
During Detective White’s testimony, we also learned Virginia Child Protective Services was called to investigate an anonymous report of abuse and injuries to Amore when she was in the care of Ruth. According to Detective White, Ruth admitted CPS had been called but she claims CPS said everything was fine. Detective White testified Opelika Police are trying to get a hold of the CPS records in Virginia, however, the records cannot be found by CPS workers in Virginia at this time.
Detective White testified although Ruth initially denied knowing Lamar had a daughter, she later admitted to knowing Amore existed. Detective White said Ruth claims the last time she saw Amore her father was taking her to his relatives in Alabama, and Ruth never thought about asking about Amore again.
Lamar Vickerstaff is currently being held at the Lee County Detention Facility without bail. Ruth Vickerstaff was released on a $10,000 and can now travel to Jacksonville, Florida with an ankle monitor per the judge’s order on Wednesday. Lee County prosecutors had asked the judge not to allow Ruth to leave Alabama, claiming they received an anonymous phone call saying Ruth had already been traveling back 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 Amore Wiggin’s death between 2010 and 2011. Additionally, we learned Vickerstaff has ties to the exact area where her remains were recovered and how he went AWOL from the Navy before a scheduled meeting with Opelika police in Florida. Vickerstaff’s AWOL from the Navy is one reason why the judge decided to deny Lamar Vickerstaff’s defense attorney’s request for bond under Aniah’s Law.
On January 28, 2012, Opelika Police responded to Brookhaven Trailer Park, located at 1775 Hurst Street in Opelika, AL, about skeletal remains being found. A skull was located in the yard of a residence while the majority of the bones were located only a few feet into the wood line behind a trailer and the adjacent lot. During the search of the area, a pink child’s shirt and a small bundle of curly hair were also recovered. The remains were sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., where a medical examination was performed. The report stated that the remains were of a black female likely between 4-7 years of age who became affectionately known to the community as Baby Jane Doe. An autopsy was performed and notated fractures to her skull, arms, legs, shoulders, and ribs; totaling more than 15 individual fractures that were attributed to blunt force trauma.
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 and how Amore Wiggins was identified, and her dad and his wife arrested
January 1, 2006: Amore Wiggins 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 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 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
The Opelika community was left reeling on January 28, 2012, when tiny skeletal remains were discovered at the Brookhaven Trailer Park off Hurst Street.
The remains were determined to be a young black female between the ages of four and seven. An autopsy revealed more than 15 fractures attributed to blunt force trauma, evidence of healing, and malnourishment. The child’s death was determined to be a homicide, believed to have occurred between the summer of 2010 and 2011.
For the next decade, the Opelika Police Department dedicated themselves to uncovering the truth, returning a name to the little girl, and justice for those who had killed her.
Opelika Police attempted to develop a DNA profile for Jane Doe, however, but were unsuccessful due to the condition of the remains. Fortunately, with advancements, in January of 2022, DNA was further extracted for genealogy testing. Othram Labs successfully extracted DNA from the scalp and Astrea Labs from the hair. A comprehensive genealogical profile was built. Once uploaded, an experienced genealogist used the profile to identify Baby Jane Doe’s relatives and investigative leads.