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Significant questions remain in the days after a 15-year-old girl was found drowned in an industrial area along Clear Creek in Shelbyville.
How did Jackleen Nicole Lane, 15, of Bagdad, whose body was spotted floating Monday morning by a Norfolk Southern Railroad conductor, end up in such a lonely, secluded place after a family member said she was headed to the Shelby County Fair?
What led to her drowning – apparently a few days earlier, based on autopsy results – without any sign of an injury that might have incapacitated her?
There are no answers, at least not yet.
Shelbyville Police, who are heading up the investigation, say they are asking those questions, too.
“There are a lot of rumors and speculation flying around, and we can’t elaborate on anything like that, but we are looking into every scenario we are hearing about,” Shelbyville Police Chief Danny Goodwin said Thursday.
Goodwin said detectives would know more when the toxicology results from the autopsy come back in about three weeks.
Shelby County Deputy Coroner Jeff Ivers said he could not be more specific on when Lane died until more results come back from the autopsy, but he said he estimates Lane was in the creek for about three days.
Although she was found in the water near 1st and Goodman streets, Ivers said he has no idea where she might have fallen into one of the deeper areas of the creek.
In a television interview, Lane’s brother, Josh Lane, said the last time he talked to her, she told him she was planning to go to the Shelby County Fair on Saturday.
He said he never saw her again.
Who was Jackleen Lane?
Lane was born Jan. 26, 1998, the daughter of Paul Price of Shelbyville and Pauline Likes of Bagdad. She attended East Middle School in sixth grade and was a student at the Education Center at Cropper in seventh and eighth grades.
So far, family members have declined to talk about Lane, but her Facebook page reveals a love for tropical fish and lists her as being “in a relationship.”
That relationship with Ricardo Ramos is the basis of her Facebook identity, Jackleen Ramos. Ricardo Ramos is a boyfriend with whom, though she expressed intense feelings for, apparently had a turbulent relationship.
She wrote on May 13, “im sorry ricardo i know i just mad it wors,” and Ramos
wrote on his Facebook page on May 24, “Had a great time today with my country friends wish u could had came jackleen but i could not get a hold of u so im not going back down to sheblyville tomorrow for no reason.”
Lane’s obituary from Sholar Funeral Home in Pleasureville does not list a large family, only her parents, two brothers, Josh Lane and Jake Snider, a maternal grandfather, Jake Snider, three uncles and an aunt.
But if Lane didn’t have a large family, she at least had lots of friends, 584 listed on her Facebook page, and if a large attendance at a funeral visitation is any indication, then she had a lot of people who thought enough of her to attend that event, held Thursday.
“My office manager, Stacey, knew her and went to the visitation, and she said it was packed,” said Elizabeth Pulliam, director of Shelby Prevention, an organization that strives to keep kids off drugs.
Pulliam said that even though she had never met Lane, she has thought about her often since her body was found on Monday, alone and forlorn, face down in a muddy creek, wearing jeans and a yellow, spaghetti-strap top, and Nike athletic shoes.
“I didn’t know her, my office manager knew her; I had never heard anything about her until Monday,” she said. “But it’s so sad, so tragic, she just seemed a little invisible, and I thought, ‘It shouldn’t be that way.’”
Pulliam said her friend suggested that Shelby Prevention should do something for Lane’s friends, many of who seemed to be having a hard time dealing with grief, and she agreed.
“Seeing the reaction of her friends, and some of the kids who knew her, we wanted to do something to give them a safe place and a time to come and remember her, and maybe even talk to a counselor, just to give them some support,” she said.
Pulliam said she is working on setting up what she calls a “memorial celebration,” for Lane’s friends, and at this point, she thinks she may be able to arrange that event for Wednesday at the Shelby County Extension Office.
“I want kids to feel like they can come and share stories about her and why she was their friend, and talk about some of the good times they shared,” she said.