The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 21, 2014

Investigators pin hopes on homicide victim's skull reconstruction

EDMOND — Investigators hope potential forensic reconstruction of facial features by OSBI forensic artists will lead to identification of a Logan County homicide victim.

Logan County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Richard Stephens said the homicide investigation from Jan. 31 at Hiwassee Road and County Road 75 has stalled, but work continues on trying to solve the case nonetheless.

At the scene, amidst a reported grass fire, first responders found the bound and burned remains of an adult male. Stephens said forensic reconstruction of facial features would allow investigators to photograph the reconstruction as though it were a person’s face.

“This is very useful in the identification of an unknown subject,” Stephens said. “This process is lengthy and the condition of the skull is critical to the success of this process.”

The skull provides clues to personal appearance — the brow ridge, the distance between the eye orbits, the shape of the nasal chamber, the shape and projection of the nasal bones, the chin’s form and the overall profile of the facial bones all determine facial features in life, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of National History.

In facial reconstruction, a sculptor familiar with facial anatomy works with a forensic anthropologist to interpret skeletal features that reveal the subject’s age, sex and ancestry and anatomical features like facial asymmetry, evidence of injuries (like a broken nose) or loss of teeth before death.

Applying strips of clay, a forensic artist begins to rebuild the face. The finished product only approximates actual appearance because the cranium does not reflect soft-tissue details — eye, hair and skin color, facial hair, the shape of the lips or how much fat tissue covers the bone.

Yet a facial reconstruction can put a name on an unidentified body in a modern forensic case.

Stephens said the victim is an adult male, most likely in his 20s about 5-feet, 8-inches tall who appears to have been Hispanic or Native American. There are very distinctive tattoos on the right shoulder of a bull’s skull with a serpent intertwined through it. There is another tattoo on the upper right chest of the Cherokee Nation seal.  

In addition to the facial reconstruction work, the victim’s dental X-rays and DNA are available to compare with any potential victim’s records, Stephens said.

Stephens said the DNA is being submitted into the Combined DNA Index System, a nationwide database of DNA profiles. Included are the profiles of convicted offenders, profiles developed from evidence in unsolved cases and miscellaneous profiles such as missing persons and unidentified human remains.

“These things are valuable tools, but require a known victim to compare against,” Stephens said.

CODIS was designed to compare a target DNA record against the DNA records contained in the database, according to the FBI. If a match is identified by the CODIS software, labs involved exchange information to verify it and establish coordination.

A match of the forensic DNA record in the database may be used to establish probable cause to obtain an evidentiary DNA sample from a suspect. Law enforcement can use this documentation to obtain a court order authorizing the collection of a known biological reference sample from an offender. The casework lab can then perform a DNA analysis on the known biological sample so it can be presented as evidence in court.

Additionally, investigators are examining every missing persons case from across the nation with a similar description, Stephens said. This has been an arduous process, and thus far has not presented any leads, he said.

If you have any information about this case, call the Logan County Sheriff’s Office at 260-3204. A communications specialist will take information and get any callers in touch with investigators day or night. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results