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Remains found in forest still unidentified

Police release composite sketch based on skull that turned up after Station fire.

July 07, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, Melanie.hicken@latimes.com
  • Artist sketch of what the unidentified person once looked like.
Artist sketch of what the unidentified person once looked… (La Canada )

The Los Angeles County coroner's office is seeking the public's help in identifying a woman whose remains were found last year in the Angeles National Forest after the Station fire.

Coroner's officials on Wednesday released a composite sketch of the Jane Doe, who officials believe was a white or Latino woman between 20 and 40 at the time of death. The sketch was created using clay reconstruction technology.

The woman's skull was found on Dec. 26 in the burned-out area below Angeles Forest Highway, two days after hikers discovered a male skull with an apparent bullet hole in the same area, officials said.

After the first discovery, forensic experts scoured the site with cadaver dogs that located the second skull, officials said. Examination of the other bones found near the skulls led forensic experts to conclude the remains were of a man and a woman.

Several pieces of jewelry were found near the woman's remains, including a gold-colored necklace and three gold-colored rings with multicolored stones, officials said.

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Investigators have said the man and woman were likely left in shallow graves, which were "partially unearthed" during the Station fire and ensuing rainfall, said Ed Winter, assistant chief at the coroner's office.

Officials suspect the bodies could have been there for several years.

Since the woman's remains were discovered, officials have contacted several law enforcement agencies, checked dental records and searched missing persons and DNA databases, but the trail has come up cold, Winter said.

"Unfortunately, we've gotten nothing," he said. "So we are asking for the public's help."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Daniel Machian at the Los Angeles County Coroner Identifications Unit at (323) 343-0754 or the Coroner Investigations Division at (323) 343-0714.

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