The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a new scientific examination of human remains found more than 30 years ago could help shed light on the identity of a homicide victim in one of the county’s oldest cold cases.
For years, investigators thought the woman whose skeletal remains were found in a field in 1985 was Caucasian. Now, after the remains have been examined further at the University of Northern Texas Center for Human Identification, and by experts elsewhere, the sheriff’s office has said the victim was African-American.
The new information also slightly expands the probable age range for the woman, whose remains were found in a field near Missouri 210 and Boyer Road in southwest Clay County.
Cold case investigators hope the new details could help identify the victim and have distributed a new image showing what she may have looked like.
Investigators now think the victim was an African-American female between the ages of 17 and 23 when she died in 1985.
The original discovery of the remains offered few clues, among them a tortoise-shell, barrette-style comb found nearby. The teeth had several unattended cavities and decay on the upper-right incisors would have been visible.
The new information became available through the use of technology, medical examinations, forensic science, and computer imaging by the Center for Human Identification’s Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, as well as the University of Kansas Hospital and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Anyone who recognizes the person pictured is asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit at 816-407-3716 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.