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.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Gas State gas price plummets 18 cents in 25 days

    Abundant domestic refinery production is behind a steep 18-cent plunge in Oklahoma gasoline prices at the pump during the last 25 days, AAA reports.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • Whataburger celebrates children’s superhero spirit with ‘Super-Duper’ event

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Super Duper Celebration! In the heart of every child lives a superhero and on Thursday Whataburger restaurants will celebrate the superhero spirit in all of us with an evening of family fun from 5-7 p.m. at its location at 421 S. Broadway.
    Customers can spend quality time with their little heroes and treat them to a superhero-themed celebration of food, activities and giveaways. Children 12 and under dressed in a superhero costume will receive a free kid’s meal. There will be a Whataburger photo booth and Whataburger’s mascot, Whataguy, will also be present to join the fun.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kenya Edmond man confesses to crimes in Kenya

    A federal grand jury alleges a 19-year-old Edmond man staying at a children’s’ home in Kenya engaged in illicit sexual conduct with residents ages 4-9.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS includes Edmond in heat advisory

    The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for areas including Edmond.
    It will be in effect from noon Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday, a period during which afternoon heat index values will be near 105 degrees. Individuals exposed to the extreme heat for a prolonged period may develop heat-related illnesses, according to the NWS.

    July 22, 2014

  • Police respond to toddler tragedy at park

    A 2-year-old child has died after a tragic incident during the weekend at a popular Edmond park, a police spokeswoman said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Germans from Russia group plans annual meeting in Edmond

    The Central Oklahoma Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will have its annual All State meeting on Aug. 9 at the Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church, 4201 E. Memorial Road, in Edmond.

    July 22, 2014

  • Goddard Students learn about animal behavior

    Animals can be fun, friendly and sometimes dangerous. That is what the students at Goddard School on North Western are learning this summer and this week they are learning about pets.
    Each summer Goddard School’s across the nation choose from a provided list of curriculum to use with their students that would be popular with the children. From learning about insects to a tiger safari, each summer is filled with creative learning.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results