SKULL RECONSTRUCTION HOLDS CLUES TO 1990 MURDER CASE

Classified as a Jane Doe for over a decade, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to breathe new life into the investigation of an unidentified murder victim whose skeletal remains were found in some woods near Ormond Beach in 1990. And investigators have a new tool in their search to identify the murder victim — a clay reconstruction of her skull that shows the best likeness yet of the woman whose identity still remains a mystery. Officials hope the likeness will jog someone’s memory and help identify the victim. Investigators say that would be a major step towards catching the killer. "We’re hoping someone will see the reconstructed skull and be able to tell us who this woman was," said Inv. Donna Davis with the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit. "We would love to be able to put a name to this face and bring some closure to this case. She’s been dead for 10 years, and the last thing we can do for this victim is find her killer. Identifying the victim would mark a big step forward in this investigation."

That’s where Anne M. Coy with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office comes in. A forensic artist and crime scene technician, Volusia investigators turned to Coy for help. Using her FBI training in forensic archaeology and facial imaging, Coy spent about a week reconstructing the victim’s skull and applying a clay exterior to give the victim life-like hair and facial features. "The work that went into the reconstruction was incredibly detailed and meticulous," said Inv. Davis, who inherited the homicide case in 2000. "This is probably the best chance we’ve had in some time to identify the victim."

The victim’s skeletal remains were discovered on April 23, 1990 in a wooded area east of Clyde Morris Boulevard, approximately 1 ½ miles north of Strickland Range Road, along a path that leads from Clyde Morris Boulevard to Avenue D in the Daytona Pines subdivision. The death has been ruled a homicide. The victim was killed approximately 3-8 weeks before the skeleton was discovered, according to an examination of the remains that was conducted by a forensic anthropologist with the Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History. Based on the examination, the victim is believed to be a white woman who would have been in her early 30s in 1990, although it’s possible she was between the ages of 25-40 at the time of her death. She was approximately 5'4" tall, with a medium build and light brown hair that investigators believe may have been tied into two pig tails with red bands. The examination revealed that the victim may have given birth to one or more children during her lifetime. Information about the skeletal and dental remains have been compared with state and national missing persons reports, but so far have yielded no clues to the identity of the victim.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Inv. Brian Nardiello at (386)-254-1535 or Crime Stoppers of Volusia & Flagler Counties, toll-free at 1-888-277-TIPS. This will be an anonymous call, and you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers doesn't want your name, just your information.