Technological advancements, volunteers help in search for child’s identity
February is Black History Month. We are focusing our blog this month on issues related to the African American community, including cases of unidentified children like this young woman found in Georgia.
In Columbus, Ga. below an Interstate 185 overpass a female’s body was found near a creek at the end of a dirt road. It was Dec. 22, 2005. Law enforcement believes she was between 14 and 21 years old and had been dead 1 or 2 days prior to being discovered.
It has been 8 years since that discovery and the girl’s identity is still a mystery.
Project ALERT deploys
This past March, members of our Project ALERT® team deployed to Georgia to meet with investigators from the Columbus Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigators Medical Examiner’s Office to offer additional resources in the effort to identify “Jane Doe 2005.”
Project ALERT is a team of approximately 170 retired local, state and federal law enforcement professionals who volunteer their time and experience to the law enforcement community on behalf of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
The volunteers who deployed to Georgia were biometric specialists who were on hand to assist law enforcement in the collection of biometric information about the unidentified child. The assistance of Project ALERT can be requested by law enforcement by calling us at 1-800-843-5678.
Creating a 3D image
Once Project ALERT members were on site, coordination began with the Columbus Regional Hospital to complete a CT scan of Jane Doe’s skull. A CT scan produces a three-dimensional photograph that can be loaded onto a computer. One of our forensic artists then uses that photo as a blueprint for creating an image of what the child looked like before they died.
These advancements in technology are cutting in half the time it takes to complete a reconstruction image and are allowing investigators to take a fresh look at unidentified cases. The hope is that the image will spark recognition in someone and lead to the person’s identity.
In addition to the composite image, investigators use the person’s clothing and body markings to help identify them. When the young Jane Doe 2005 was found wearing a leopard print corset bustier top, size small, with a black net style long sleeved shirt over it.
She was wearing acrylic pale pink tips on her fingernails as well as clear and white nail polish on her toenails. She was wearing a wig with long straight black hair and her natural hair color and style are unknown.
She was approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 108 pounds. Unique scarring was found on the young woman’s lower back; five small scars running down the midline of her back with one large oval scar next to those that contained stitch marks. It was obvious that the girl had suffered trauma or injury to her lower back and stitches had been used to heal the wounds.
She had on “Baby Phat” brand jeans, size 3, as well as black socks. She also had a metal ring with two ovals on the fourth finger of her left hand.
View the poster for Jane Doe 2005 here: http://ow.ly/tmbBd. If you have any information regarding Jane Doe 2005 you are urged to call 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678). Calls may be made anonymously.