The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, or SLED, is working with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department this week in an effort to identify the skeletal remains of a woman found in the woods back in September. Forensics artist Debbie Goff of SLED recently performed a facial reconstruction of the skull with the expectation that someone might recognize the deceased. The body is believed to have been in the woods for one to five years and evidence indicates that this is a homicide, according to Sheriff Thomas Summers. Summers says there is very little evidence in the case and that identifying the body is the most important hurdle to clear. He gave a description of the victim. “According to the pathologist,” said Summers, “we believe that she was a white female between the ages of 40 and 44 with blondish-brown hair. She stood approximately 5 foot 6 inches tall and we think she she’s probably had at least one child.
Sheriff Summers says that not knowing who the victim is has made the case very difficult to solve. That is why his department has turned to SLED to perform a facial reconstruction of the deceased. According to Summers, “We’ve been able to, with the help of Debbie Goff from SLED–the forensic artist–she has made a facial reconstruction that we have put out to all the media now in an effort to identify her.
“(We are) hoping that someone will recognize the reconstruction or the similarities of someone they might know who is missing. We’re hoping it is going to create some leads or some tips that we can follow up and possibly identify this person.”
Facial reconstructions are performed anytime skeletal remains are found in South Carolina that are unidentifiable. Debbie Goff of SLED says she performs them when necessary.
“We probably average one or two per year,” she says.
Contact SLED or your local police department with any information on the case.