Lake Jordan cold case gets a face

Does this woman look familiar?
Does this woman look familiar?

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Elmore County investigators have an idea now who the skeletal remains belong to.

"This indicates it was a woman," said Elmore County sheriff Bill Franklin.

Franklin has a photograph of a facial reconstruction, the face of a mixed-race woman between 30 and 40 years old. Forensic officials in Alabama and LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, constructed the face. The woman had a thin to medium build, dark hair and moderate dental work.

"The bizarre thing about this we're only a few yards away from the banks of Lake Jordan. We don't know if the person who did came by boat or drove up here,' said Franklin.

A retired, college professor found the bones while doing yard work on July 22, 2007, and Charles Kelley, a neighbor, remembers that day very well.

"I think it was someone who dumped the body and clearly didn't want to be found," said Kelley.

The college professor was immediately ruled out a suspect from day one, so as of now no leads in the murder.

There is little doubt the woman suffered a violent death. Forensic analysis shows she suffered broken ribs, broken facial bones and a head injury. Pin-pointing the time of her death was far more difficult, sometime between 2002 and 2007.

Even with a face there is always that chance this case will never be solved. Investigators still don't have a name and they don't know where she was killed.

"We don't believe she was from around here because she doesn't fit any of our missing person's report and no one has called," Franklin said.

The victim was wrapped in a tarp and covered with lime, an obvious attempt to smother the smell of decay. Now if the earth would only reveal its darkest secrets; who killed the woman and why.

If you think you have information that could help Elmore County authorities, call them at 514-5805.

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