"Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee" was a teenager or young adult who was found murdered in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida in 1971. She is thought to possibly have been a victim of American serial killer Paul John Knowles.
Two hitchhikers from Illinois discovered the body after noticing a hand by a branch in the lake. She was badly decomposed and had thought to have been dead around 3 weeks to a month prior. She had been strangled with a man's belt that was still around her neck. The victim may have been married, as she wore a ring on her left ring finger.
In 1993, the Sumter Chief of Police suggested that the woman could've been a victim of serial killer Paul John Knowles. Knowles was active in the Florida in 1974, but was on parole in 1971. He was known to strangle his female victims with inordinate objects.
Testing performed on her remains indicated she may have originated from the area of Laurium, Greece. Following these results, it has been speculated she was possibly in the region for an Epiphany festival. A potential match between the victim and a Greek woman known as "Konstantina" was also investigated, but turned up negative.
Around 1988, a woman recognized the bust created by artist Betty Pat Gatliff as a runaway she had seen in 1970 and believed to be Miss Panasoffkee. The woman said the girl, who called herself "Carol", was a runaway from an undisclosed state. The girl was known to hang around Clearwater Beach, south of Lake Panasoffkee. The girl had a previous ankle injury when she tried to run away and had allegedly been pregnant and was forced to give up the child before she ran away. The woman said she last saw Carol around the fall of 1970 when she left with three unknown men from Tampa. It's unknown if the girl was Miss Panasoffkee or not.
- Brown hair.
- Possibly had brown eyes.
- The victim had given birth at least once.
- She was likely from southern Europe, most likely Greece.
- She had extensive dental work.
- She had an orthopedic surgery on her ankle between 1967 - 1970, the surgery (known as the "Watson - Jones" technique) was used to correct instability in the ankle.
- She had Periostitis in her lower right leg, which is inflammation around the tissue near a bone, which would've caused pain, and she may have walked with a limp.
Clothing and accessories
- A white and green floral poncho or shawl
- A solid green shirt
- Green plaid pants
- Gold Baylor wristwatch on her left hand
- A gold ring with a clear stone
- A small gold necklace
- A men's size 36 belt (did not belong to the victim, yet is believed to be the murder weapon)
- The case was featured in an October 1992 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
- Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee at NCMEC
- Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee on Wikipedia
- Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee at the Doe Network
- Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee at FLUIDDB
- Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee at NamUs
- Unsolved Mysteries episode POSTMORTEM WARNING
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution