A young girl, whose remains were found in 2016 in Texas, may have lived or visited southeastern Arizona or neighboring Mexico, officials said.
And now sheriff’s investigators in Texas and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children are trying to identify the girl, believed to have been between 2 and 6 years old at the time of her death.
One tip they hope might help identify her is that her remains were found with a feeding tube, indicating she might have had a medical condition requiring assistance with eating.
The girl’s remains were found Sept. 17, 2016, in a pasture along Interstate 45 in Madisonville, Texas, north of Houston. She was found wrapped in garbage bags inside a zippered black suitcase, according to the center. She was wearing a pink dress with butterflies on the front and the phrase “Follow your dreams.” She also wore a diaper.
The girl likely had micrognathia, a condition that would have affected her ability to eat on her own. She also would have likely needed professional medical care .
“These kinds of cases are the worst kind,” said Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley said in a news release. “They’re frustrating because you feel helpless. I mean, I cannot bring nobody back to life by no means, but I want to bring some kind of peace, if nothing else.”
The girl’s 1.2-centimeter feeding tube, which would have been surgically implanted, had the inscription “aa4069f02.” Investigators had hoped her feeding tube would lead them to answers but they say there’s not enough information to trace it.
It was estimated that she was dead for three to five months before she was found. Forensic experts believe she was Caucasian or Hispanic and had thick, dark hair. New genealogy research reveals she also had Native American lineage.
While she was found in Texas, a pollen analysis completed on her remains suggests she was from the southwestern United States, or an adjacent region in Mexico.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created a facial reconstruction to show what the child may have looked like in life. The reconstruction was created using a CT scan of her skull.
Her body had no signs of trauma and a cause of death hasn’t been determined. The manner of her death was ruled a homicide.
If you have any information about the girl, please call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).