Investigators work to ID teen girl dumped

December 7, 2012 3:52:04 PM PST
Nearly two months after the skeletal remains of a teenage girl were found dumped on the side of a road in north Harris County, investigators are still having a tough time identifying the victim.

Officials believe the girl was between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. Her body was discovered on the 125000 block of Walters Road in a garbage bag on the side of the road.

Investigators say the girl's body was so badly decomposed that they've been having some serious challenges identifying her. Now they're making another plea for the public's help.

A distinctive t-shirt with the cartoon character Smurfette and a pair of khaki cargo pants -- those major clues have been little help identifying a teenage girl whose remains were found dumped on the side of Walters Road.

Dr. Jennifer Love, Forensic Anthropology Director at the Harris County Institute for Forensic Science, said, "We've had a few possible matches reported to the office, however we have excluded them."

Dr. Love and her team have been working to identify the 15- to 17-year-old victim whose remains were found dumped on October 16.

"The pathologist at that time did do an autopsy," Dr. Love said. "However, given the stage of decomposition, many of the organs were badly deteriorated."

Investigators tell me that unidentified girl's remains were found in two black trash bags. They say they'd been out in this area so long, wild animals had already gotten to them.

Dr. Love says with no positive leads, so far the medical examiner's office isn't even sure if the young victim is from this area.

"We all understand that we have a human trafficking problem here in Houston," she said.

Dr. Love told me the next step for her team is developing more data from skeletal remains to build the victim's life history. They'll be consulting with other labs and conduct isotope analysis on the girl's teeth and hair to better determine where she originated.

"The teeth will give us where she developed as a child. The hair will give us where she's lived over the past year or so," Dr. Love explained. "So by using that information, you can kind of map her travels."

Investigators are urging anyone with information about that girl or her family to contact the medical examiner's identification unit at 713-796-6774.


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