Police Seek Public's Help to Identify Woman's Remains

An anthropologist helped police identify the bones as those of a petite 30-year-old woman

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The human remains of a woman found in Orange County in January are still unidentified. The body has become a statistic on the website NamUs, hopefully leading to her identification and eventually the cause of her death. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2014. (Published Monday, Mar 17, 2014)

    After an investigation failed to turn up any leads, police are hoping newly released photos will help the public identify a woman whose remains were discovered in Orange County earlier this year.

    The body in question was found Jan. 6 in a rural southeast area of Orange County, but officials did not make the discovery public until March 14, after they performed tests to determine if the remains were that of a human.

    Authorities said the remains are estimated to have been exposed to the elements in San Juan Capistrano's Caspers Wilderness Park for at least six months. The cause of death remains unknown.

    Using an anthropologist to identify the bones, police said the remains are those of a petite female, at least 30 years old who had shoulder-length brown hair with light highlights.

    The woman also had a "distinct gold-colored dental bridge on her left lower jaw," as well as a broken nose at some point in her life, police said.

    "Our goal at this point is to attempt to identify who the person may have been, and once we make that identification then we work backwards and hopefully determine how she may have died," Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock told NBC4. "People do in fact go unidentified for years."

    The following items (pictured above) were recovered with the woman’s remains:

    • Small, dark-colored AuburnSportswear windbreaker (the front of which has the name "Coach Williams" and either a volley ball or water polo ball stitched on it)
    • Dark-colored athletic yoga pants with light-colored stripes down both legs
    • Pinkish, speckled short-sleeved tank top T-shirt with a black line design
    • Bright green hair scrunchie band

    Anyone with information is encouraged to call Hallock at 714-904-7042.

    As of Monday morning, Hallock said there had been no updates or leads.

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