Officials ask for public’s help identifying girl’s remains found - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Officials ask for public’s help identifying girl’s remains found in Opelika 2012

(Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) (Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -

It’s been five years since the remains of an unidentified young girl were discovered in an Opelika trailer park. 

A resident’s son discovered the small skull behind her home in Brook Haven Trailer Park on Jan. 28, 2012.

Two days later on Jan. 30, 2012, investigators discovered additional remains about 20 to 50 yards away from where the skull was found.

On Feb. 2, 2012, the FBI joined the investigation and sent the child’s remains to their crime lab at Quantico.

Five months later on June 14, 2012, officials released a 3D model of what the girl may have looked like based on her skeletal remains. 

Lab results determined the girl was an African American child between the ages of 4 and 7 years old. 

Forensic testing revealed the child had been severely abused and murdered. Results from a recent forensic isotope test conclude Jane Doe was from Alabama or neighboring state.

An anthropological assessment of Jane Opelika Doe’s bones suggested that she was abused and malnourished prior to her death. Based on the state of her remains, officials placed her time of death between 2010 and 2012.

The next time the investigation was featured in the news was on Aug. 25, 2016, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued new digital composites of the girl.

The composite includes the girl dressed in a pink shirt with heart-shaped buttons that were found near the remains. It is unclear if the shirt belonged to her.

Several tips were received over the next month, one of which led to a major development in the case on Sept. 29, 2016.

Photographs were obtained that officials believe show the young girl at Vacation Bible School at Greater Peace Church in 2011. However, all attempts to identify her through church and school records failed.

The young girl in the church photograph had a visible deformity of some type with her left eye, which may indicate she was blind in that eye. The deformity may have been natural or caused by an accident or abuse.

It is believed she had a slightly unkempt appearance and was not very clean. She was quiet and stayed to herself, not interacting with other children very much. She had trouble communicating on the same level as the other children.

Anyone who recognizes this young girl is asked to contact the Opelika Police Department Investigative Services Division at (334)705-5220, the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Call Center at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).

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