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Thread: 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

  1. #1

    patstar 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

    LA VERGNE — A startlingly realistic “forensic art” sculpture of a woman’s face will be used by La Vergne police to push for clues about a body found in a remote field in 2007.
    It’s the second facial reconstruction commissioned by the department in the case. Experts said the first was superb, but the latest goes even further. Computer enhancements to the clay model added skin tones, jewelry and a new hairstyle.
    “It’s little things like that make it more like a photograph,” said Detective Bob Hayes. “That may be what helps identify her.”
    Hayes, while a patrol officer, found the woman’s bones while searching for a missing woman whose body was later found near Clarksville. That left city police with the unidentified remains, their only such case.
    Now, four years later, the case file has come back to Hayes, now a detective.
    “There’s definitely a learning curve,” he said. “You pull information from pretty much any place you can.”
    Authorities determined the victim to be a woman age 30 to 45, most likely about 5 feet 5 inches tall, and likely black.
    Along with the skeletal remains, police found an Avon bracelet with at least eight cat photo charms, a ceramic bracelet and a gold-plated ring with blue and amber stones. A medical examiner’s report ruled the death a homicide after turning up a bullet wound and stab markings.
    Hayes hopes those descriptions and the new image will draw out fresh information.
    'To spark a memory'

    The remains, found in a wooded area off Hollandale Road near the Lake Forest neighborhood, have traveled widely for examination.
    In 2007, police worked with University of Tennessee forensic art graduate Joanna Hughes — the first person to earn that degree— to create a facial reconstruction model.
    Police decided to commission a new image because of improved technology.
    The FBI pointed Hayes to the state-of-the-art Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory, which has completed hundreds of renderings.
    Imaging Specialist Eileen Barrow worked at least 50 hours on the new model, said lab Director Mary H. Manhein.
    The modeling process began with careful bone and skull measurements, which were compared to known tissue depths. Small erasers were cut and filed and attached to the skull to create guides. Eye placement further defined the spacing of features. Then Barrow sculpted with clay.
    Guessing weight is often the biggest challenge, Manhein said.
    Afterward, Barrow scanned photographs of the sculpture into a computer to make adjustments and add coloring.
    Throughout the process, Barrow explicitly avoided viewing previous renderings. But she arrived at a similar likeness.
    “Sometimes these things look a lot like the people and sometimes they don’t,” Manhein said. “The whole thing is to spark a memory for someone.”

  2. #2

    Default Re: 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

    sketch and bracelet
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sketch unidentified..jpg   cat bracelet.jpg  

  3. #3

    Default Re: 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

    I just wanted to ad this picture, it shows some of the other cats that were on the bracelet:

  4. #4

    Default Re: 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

    Jane Doe remains mystery 9 years after remains found in La Vergne

    LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nine years have passed since a woman’s remains were found in a remote field, and detectives still have few answers.

    Now known as Jane Doe, who was this woman? And who murdered her?

    Around midnight on Nov. 14, 2007, police made the grim discovery on Hollandale Road in La Vergne.

    “The majority of the remains were found through this wood line here through the trail,” said La Vergne police Det. Sgt. Bob Hayes as he showed News 2 the area.

    He said he remembers that night well, and it’s on his mind every single day.

    “I can recite it like the back of my hand because I spent so much time on it,” Hayes told News 2.

    The detective was training a new recruit and searching for a different missing woman at the time of the discovery.

    “We recovered somewhere between 98 to 99 percent of the victim’s skeletal remains,” Hayes said, noting animals had scattered what was left.

    The description of the victim is vague: a black female believed to be in her mid to late 30s.

    Detectives are hoping a limited Avon Cosmetics jewelry line will be the key in identifying her.

    “My hope would be that’s something that a family member, a friend, or loved one would have given my victim and kind of help narrow down and maybe that would be the identifier, ‘Hay, that could be so and so.’”

    A facial reconstructionist at University of Tennessee-Knoxville created a clay facial reconstruction of the woman, and Louisiana State University did a computer enhanced photo of what she may have looked like.

    But for now, she remains Jane Doe.

    “Without identifying, I can’t work any kind of angle as far as what might of happened to her and who might have done it,” said Sgt. Hayes.

    There’s also no way to know what was going through her mind as it happened.

    “How horrific it might have been for her and what she might have gone through, what she was thinking, wondering if she was yelling for help and nobody hear her?”

    Sgt. Hayes told News 2 it appears Jane Doe may have died from blunt force trauma. She did have other injuries, but he’s not going to reveal that part of the investigation for fear of jeopardizing the case.

    “Next year it will be a decade, and that’s way too long. Way too long for her not to not have justice, way too long for the family, friends, and loved ones to not to know where she is and way too long for person who did this not to have to answer for what they did,” he said.

    Cold case detectives tell News 2 the unidentified woman has been entered into nationwide data bases, including that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 'Forensic art' sculpture could help solve La Vergne slaying

    Doe Network:

    Unidentified Black Female

    The victim was discovered on November 14, 2007 in LaVergne, Rutherford County, Tennessee
    Estimated Date of Death: 4 months prior
    Skeletal remains


    Vital Statistics

    Estimated age: 25-49 years old
    Approximate Height and Weight: 5'5"-5'6".
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Short brown hair.
    Dentals: Available. She had an abscess.
    Clothing: Bracelet with at least eight feline photos in it manufactured by Avon; a bracelet with ceramic beads bound with a dark cord; a ring believed to be gold-plated with light blue and amber-colored stones.
    DNA: Available at University of North Texas


    Case History
    The victim was found in a rural part of LaVergne, Tennessee in November 2007.
    The woman's wrists and feet were also bound with a green cord, similar to that used on a yard trimmer.

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