Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police Seek Help in Identifying Murder Victim

Do you recognize this woman? Police in Sumter County, Florida, are hoping this composite sketch will help identify a murder victim whose remains were discovered in Wildwood near State Road 44 and Interstate 75 on April 22. Police say she was shot to death two to four weeks prior to being found.

Police say two people who had been in the woods over the weekend lost a wallet, and when they came back on Monday to look for it, they found the woman’s remains. Police say the area is often used by ATV riders and as a campsite by transients. It was the site of a murder several years ago.

By the time the woman’s remains were found, they were decomposed beyond recognition. Detective Darren Norris contacted Dr. Erin Kimmerle, a forensic anthropologist who was able to create a facial reconstruction based on the victim’s skull.

“What we do is a 3-D scan of the skull, and then build a face over the skull, using the symmetry and bone structure, but then take in a lot of factors about the person like their age, their weight. We did have hair. so that informed us of the length and color,” Dr. Kimmerle told MyFox Tampa Bay.

According to a press release put together with Dr. Kimmerle’s findings, the victim was 25 to 55 years old, heavyset and 5’4 to 5’9 tall. She had curly, light brown or auburn hair and wore glasses. She had the name “Jane” tattooed on her left shoulder.

Dr. Kimmelre has been instrumental in identifying numerous murder victims in the state of Florida. Last fall, she led a team of scientists in a search of the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Using digital imaging, her team found 18 graves where young men who had died at the reform school were buried. “It’s about restoring dignity,” Kimmerle had said.

Anyone with information about the remains found in Wildwood is urged to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

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