Mansfield Police Hope Skull Composite Will Help Identify Murder Victim Found in August 2015

Police say woman was murdered, reveal few details citing ongoing homicide investigation

Investigators working to identify skeletal remains found in Mansfield last summer hope a clay composite made using the victim's skull will help identify the unknown woman.

The woman's remains were found dry and partially unearthed in August 2015 by a Mansfield resident walking his property with his family along Mitchell Road.

Investigators were able to recover most of the remains. Over the next year forensic investigators would then determine the remains were of a black woman between the ages of 35 and 55 years old and that she stood between 5 feet 2 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Based upon the skeletal decay and the age of a willow tree root found growing in the woman's cranium, officials said the woman could have gone missing between 1998 and 2011.

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Investigators used clay to cover the victim's skull in hopes of identifying the woman.

To try to determine what the woman looked like at the time of her death, investigators used an artist to reconstruct the woman's face by wrapping her skull with clay.

The technique shows the proportions in the face, the eye sockets and cheekbones, and is designed to represent what she may have looked like. For unknown features, such as the color of her eyes or length and style of her hair, generic features were used.

"We know that someone is probably missing her and so we're hoping they would be able to watch this and look at the reconstruction. It represents what she may look like, it's not designed to be a portrait," said Dr. Dana Austin, Senior Forensic Anthropologist, with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

Investigators said the color of the clay used to make the composite is not intended to be indicative of the woman's skin color.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Capt. David Griffin added the woman's death is being investigated as a homicide. Other than to say they believe she was left at the location, Griffin refused to reveal any details about what led to her death due to the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information about the identity of the woman is asked to call the Mansfield Police Department at 817-276-4700.

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