By Scott Halasz
XENIA — Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and Attorney General Mike DeWine are teaming up to try an find the identify of skeletal remains found on Elam Road in Spring Valley Township in May.
The pair Thursday unveiled the forensic facial reconstruction of the female — believed to be between 25 and 50-years-old — whose remains were found with a few pieces of clothing by some mushroom hunters May 1 in a wooded area.
“Tips have really not identified her,” DeWine said. “We do hope the facial reconstruction is the thing that could change all of that. This was someone’s daughter, someone’s family. Someone’s friend and she deserves to be identified. Now that we have her face, we hope we can soon determine her name. This case has really been a tough one.”
The clay model was created by forensic artist Samantha Molnar. To complete the process, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation partnered with The Ohio State University, using a CT scan and a 3D printer to create a plastic model of the skull. Using tissue depth markers and scientific guidelines, Molnar recreated the woman’s face, with approximate lip and nose sizes and eyebrow features. The model took 72 hours to print and it took Molnar nearly 60 hours to complete.
“The skull that we recovered from the scene was incomplete,” Fischer said. ” … the technology that you guys just witnessed allowed for the reconstruction of a skull.”
The woman is believed to be caucasian, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10 and had likely been there for three months to a year before being found, according to officials. DeWine said the model was “as close as science could get” to creating an accurate description of the woman.
Neither BCI nor the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification could find a match for the full DNA profile found for the remains, according to sheriff’s officials.
“We have worked every process we can,” Greene County Sheriff’s Det. Kyle Metz said. “We would like to identify this lady to get her back to her family.”
A cause of death has not been determined, but County Coroner Kevin Sharrett said the remains showed no trauma. The death certificate shows the cause of death as an acute ventricular dysrhythmia, meaning the heart stopped.
Officials are asking anyone who recognizes the woman to call the Greene County Sheriff at 937-376-5111 or BCI’s Missing Persons Unit at 855-BCI-OHIO.