Police hope facial reconstruction will help identify woman

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – On March 20 Fort Worth police found a woman's remains in an open field near the 7300 block of Calmont Avenue. Today city officials revealed a clay facial reconstruction of what they believe the yet to be identified woman looked like.

The woman's remains were discovered by workers in the area. "We got a call from a pipeline crew that actually found a skull and then notified police," Fort Worth Police Department Detective Kyle Sullivan explained. Officers secured the scene and a forensic anthropological team was called in. "When we got there we started our own investigation and we uncovered a shallow grave," Sullivan said. The grave held the woman's other remains.

Medical officials were able to determine that the woman was Hispanic and stood between 4'9" and 5'4". They believe she was between 21 and 35 years old. The remains were that of a woman with a slender build and she had long, 13 inches, brown hair that was wavy and cut into layers.

Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Dana Austin explained that the clay reconstruction has some ‘original' features. "The teeth that you see are actually the teeth from the skull. The skull is under the clay," she said. ""One big distinguishing feature is a dental bridge. So, it's three teeth that are involved in this bridge… in the upper, right front teeth."

Forensic Artist Suzanne Baldon explained why the actual human remains were used in the reconstruction. "That's her teeth [and] her skull. I just build the face on the skull. The skull is like the foundation of building, it's the foundation of the face."

Neither the medical examiner nor anthropologists were able to determine how the woman died. At the time when the body was found the medical examiner believed the woman could have been dead anywhere from six months to five years.

Dr. Austin said the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office has had success with other reconstructions. "We have found facial reconstruction and media support to be a great method to get people identified. This has worked for us on many occasions."

Anyone recognizing the woman or has information about her death is asked to contact Fort Worth police at 817-392-4340.


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