NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – More than a decade after the body of a little girl was discovered in Alabama, she will finally be laid to rest this month in Norfolk.
The funeral for Amore Wiggins is set for Feb. 25 at Graves Funeral Home on Church Street.
She’s been referred to as the Opelika Jane Doe since 2012, until investigators finally learned her name last month.
Meanwhile, investigators are still building the case against her father, Lamar Vickerstaff, and his wife, Ruth Vickerstaff.
Investigators say there’s so much left to be uncovered about Amore’s last few years of life, all of it centering around Hampton Roads.
“She was in a rush to learn how to walk,” said Amore’s birth mother, Sherry Wiggins.
Amore Wiggins was going places as a little girl. She was strong, determined and happy and that’s how Sherry Wiggins wants to remember her as she plans her funeral later this month.
“It’s just hard,” said Wiggins. “Looking at her picture is keeping me close.”
Amore’s remains were found in Opelika, Alabama in January 2012.
Ten years later, DNA evidence, led to a big break in the case.
“A lot of cold cases kind of go cold and people don’t think of them anymore but that’s not us,” said Opelika Police Capt. Jonathan Clifton.
Investigators finally knew her name, and her father’s name, Lamar Vickerstaff, who had custody of her at the time, along with his wife, Ruth.
“Lamar and Ruth were both present during the custody hearing back in Virginia and they’re the ones that took custody of Amore back then,” Clifton said.
Clifton said he remembers the day investigators uncovered Amore’s remains.
“I remember that day in January when we found the remains,” Clifton said, “and it has just been a dark cloud over the police department and over the city of how this child was brutally murdered, had 15 bones broken and we didn’t even know her name.”
He said even though they’ve arrested Lamar and his wife Ruth, it doesn’t mean the case is over.
“We still have a lot of work to do and that’s the reason we really need the public’s help,” Clifton said.
Clifton says now if they’re trying to piece together Amore’s last few years of life.
They say if anyone knew the Vickerstaff’s while they were stationed in Norfolk with the Navy, they’d like to talk with them and so would Sherry.
“There’s a lot of people that could’ve had contact with them through the navy, neighbors, Ruth’s friends, family lives up there, anybody that could contact us and give us any information,” said Clifton.
Sherry Wiggins, as she mourns her daughter’s loss, is looking for any clues to understand what Amore was like.
“I just want any moment of time that Amore has been around,” Sherry Wiggins said. “I just want to know what it was like, what she was like.”
And Sherry’s message for Lamar and Ruth?
“Please just tell the truth. Just tell the truth. She did not deserve this,” she said. “Justice is coming.”
The grand jury hearing is scheduled for the first week of March in Lee County, Alabama.
Ruth Vickerstaff is currently out on bond but must stay in the state of Alabama.
If you’d like to help with Amore’s funeral arrangements, and the legal fees for Sherry, click here.
If you have anything that could help investigators in this case, call the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665.