Missing child’s face reconstructed

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Nearly a year after she was first found, the face of a child found on I-45 in a black suitcase has been reconstructed, giving law enforcement officials another clue to the child’s identity.

Last week, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a facial reconstruction for the child. Her remains were found near the 7800 block of I-45 north in Madisonville on Sept. 17, 2016.

The county also received some information based on trace evidence found on the suitcase and clothing, which narrows down the point of origin for the child to the Southwest.

According to a press release, the girl was between 2 and 6 years old, Caucasian or Hispanic, with dark hair. She was found wearing a pink dress and a diaper. She also was found with a feeding tube.

Investigators believe the child likely had a condition called micrognathia, which would have affected her ability to eat on her own, and would have necessitated professional medical care throughout her life.

Chief Investigator Larry Shiver of the MCSO these items have officials hoping someone can give them the identity of the child so we can take the investigation further.

Using a CT scan of her skull, forensic artists at NCMEC created the facial reconstruction.

“We shipped all the things found with the child, the suitcase and clothing, to the Homeland Security Lab in Chicago,” he said. “The NCMEC helped us arrange that.

“They did a pollen study, which is where we got a location of the Southwest,” he said. “The pollen in the suitcase was unique to that area.

While she was found in Texas, a pollen analysis completed on her remains suggests she was from the southwest U.S. or the adjacent region in Mexico, he said.

“It’s even more likely she was from southeast Arizona,” Shiver said. “The investigation will center on that area now, in regard to the location of the feeding tube, which is lot-numbered, so we can now concentrate on that area.”

Shiver said that through the use of other police departments, authorities have run down 38 different children found with similar feeding tubes, and all were found healthy.

He also said there was little information turned up by an autopsy.

“The best the medical examiner could tell us was there was no signs of any trauma,” he said

Anyone with information regarding the child can call Madison County Crime Stoppers at (936) 348-3100, the MCSO at (936) 348-2755 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-THELOST (843-5678).

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