OC sleuths hope image can crack cold case


The Orange County Sheriff’s Department released a new rendering last week of a possible homicide victim whose remains were found in 1983.

The remains were discovered when children playing in a culvert near the Canada and Old Trabuco Roads area in Lake Forest came across a human skull.

“A search has been completed and approximately 70% of one woman’s human remains have been discovered,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Although the official cause of death is listed as undetermined, homicide is suspected.”

The statement said that “based on a preliminary anthropological analysis” the woman is believed to be between the ages of 18 and 24, black or mixed race, between 5ft 3 and 5ft 6 in height, with “a slight build”. .

The new rendering of what the woman might have looked like, produced by forensic artist Carl Koppelman based on available evidence, includes depictions of what she might have been wearing at the time of her death.

The department worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2019 to produce a black-and-white forensic rendering using remains analysis to determine facial features.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2019 to produce initial renders of the victim.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“The image has been released widely, however, no new information has been developed,” the department said.

The updated render is in full color and depicts the woman with longer hair and a distinctive dental feature. The department said it hopes the rendering will lead to his identification and spur developments in the investigation, which has been cold for years.

Investigators first compared the remains to descriptions of several missing people, but were unable to find a match.

The investigation was revived in 2018, when convicted serial killer Samuel Little admitted to killing 93 people between 1970 and 2005, including dozens in California, and confessed to targeting black women. But investigators have not found a connection between Little and the unidentified woman.

The department asked anyone recognizing the woman to contact Investigator Bob Taft at 714-647-7045 or by email at [email protected]




Los Angeles Times

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