DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - She has been dead for more than five years, but her case is very much alive thanks to the work of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's forensic artist.
"If it's important to me, imagine how much more important it is to a family somewhere," said Kelly Lawson, who completed a new skull reconstruction of a woman found dead in Banks County.
According to GBI investigators, someone found the woman's remains about a mile off of Interstate 85 in February 2017. Experts believe she was 33 to 40 years old and 4'9" to 5'6' tall with African-American and Hispanic features.
Lawson said she had a difficult time finding a wig to complete the reconstruction and a colleague suggested she learn to make her own wigs instead.
"Oftentimes when I go to the store and I buy a wig that's brand new, it's very specific and it looks brand new, but these reconstructions are supposed to be very realistic and look like real people who live their lives," Lawson explained. "So I want the hair to look lived in as well."
GBI officials hope that the new sketch and 3-D reconstruction of the woman will lead to new tips in the effort to identify her. They also sent a sample of bone to The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) so that her DNA could be put into CODIS.
"Between the DNA as well as the sketch and reconstruction, we're really hoping that we can give her a name," said GBI Spokeswoman Nelly Miles.
Anyone with information about who the woman may be should contact the GBI Athens office at 706-552-2309 or the Banks County Sheriff’s Office at 706-677-2248.