“Jane Doe” or “John Doe” is frequently used as a placeholder name when referring to a deceased person whose identification is unknown. Authorities may use “Jane Doe” as a placeholder for the deceased until their real identity can be established when a dead body is found without any identification.
The usage of “Jane Doe” or “John Doe” enables the investigation to move forward while maintaining anonymity in situations where a deceased person is located and there are no immediate means of identification, such as identifying documents or personal belongings. Authorities often use a variety of tools to try to identify the person, including fingerprints, dental records, DNA tests, and public information requests. The placeholder name is changed to the real name once the person’s identity has been confirmed.
The use of “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” has become increasingly widespread in court cases, especially in the US, where they are frequently used to refer to unnamed or nameless people. The names enable the filing of legal documents and the continuation of procedures without revealing the real identities of the parties involved. This is especially helpful when someone’s privacy needs to be safeguarded or when their identity is unclear, like in situations involving suspects or crime victims who haven’t been identified.
According to one concept, the word “Doe” may have originated from the Old English word “da,” which meant “that” or “the aforementioned.” This eventually changed into “Doe,” which came to stand for an unnamed or unknown person.
The popularity of “John” and “Jane” as common names in English-speaking nations is probably the reason why they are used as generic first names. Similarly, In Massachusetts, pregnant minors under the age of 18 who petition the Superior Court for a judicial bypass exception to the parental consent requirement for abortion are referred to as “Mary Moe’s. Such situations are also referred to as “Mary Moe cases” when using the term “Mary Moe.” The people may occasionally be referred to as “Mary Doe”. ‘Baby Doe’ for mentioning babies are another similar terminology used.