|The FACES lab uses clay to create facial reconstructions based on the study of human remains, performs age-progression for the FBI, and conducts training seminars for law enforcement personnel.|
LSU FACES Lab and Crime Stoppers Create Unique Partnership to Solve Unidentified and Missing Person Cases
These Cases Often Involve Homicides or Victims of Crime
On the television show “Cold Case,” Philadelphia Police detectives work to solve “cold cases,” or cases that have not been solved and are not the subject of current criminal investigation or civil litigation. These cases usually get wrapped up within the hour. However, in real life, these cold cases are much tougher to solve. A unique partnership announced today may help to solve some of these cases here in Louisiana.
The LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services, or FACES, Lab and Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers have joined together to work toward solving some of Louisiana’s unidentified and missing person cases. These cold cases are part of the Louisiana Repository for Missing and Unidentified Persons Information Program, which was established by FACES.
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“We are very excited about our new partnership with Crime Stoppers and believe they can help us to solve many of our cold cases, but the public can also help,” said Mary Manhein, director of the LSU FACES Lab.
The partnership will help to publicize some of the unidentified or missing person cases through features on local news broadcasts such as WAFB’s Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week segment, newspaper placements, Web site databases and a billboard campaign, all with the goal of having someone recognize the visual reconstruction created by the FACES Lab.
People will be urged to call their local Crime Stoppers with any information they may have on the cases featured. Throughout the year, new cases will be added to the Crime Stoppers and FACES Lab Web sites and featured in the media and on billboards.
A major component of the partnership will be the billboard campaign. Billboards will go up in the area where the unidentified person was found. Crime Stoppers will also offer a reward up to $1,000 only for the information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a perpetrator in the crime.
The first case that the FACES/Crime Stoppers partnership will focus on is a case involving a white female found in Port Allen in 1985. The female was 25-33 years old when she was found and was 5’2”-5’4” tall. A reconstruction of her face, created by the FACES Lab, will be shown during the Crime Stoppers segment on an upcoming WAFB news broadcast and the image and information on her will be displayed on digital billboards around the Baton Rouge Area. If someone recognizes this individual or has any information about her death, call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP or 1-800-723-7867. Calls can be made anonymously.
A photo of the current billboard can be seen on the Louisiana Repository for Missing and Unidentified Persons Web site at http://identifyla.lsu.edu/.
The Crime Stoppers partnership with the FACES lab will help to publicize some of the unidentified or missing person cases through local news broadcasts and a billboard campaign, with the goal of solving cold cases.
The LSUFACES Laboratory uses technology to create computerized age-progression of unidentified or missing children and adults years after they disappear. Federal and state law enforcement investigators have come to rely on FACES director and anthropologist Mary Manhein and her staff as a valuable resource in their efforts to locate missing people. The lab uses clay to create facial reconstructions based on the study of human remains, performs age-progression for the FBI, and conducts training seminars for law enforcement personnel. The FACES lab is one of eight Model Age Progression Sites, or MAPS, associated with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the first recognized MAPS site at a university.
About Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September 1976 and is a partnership of the community, the media and law enforcement designed to combat crime and keep our streets safe. Today there are some 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs in communities around the world that take tips to assist investigators to solve crimes including homicides, sexual assaults, drug trafficking operations and robberies. Programs have also received information that has prevented school shootings and criminal acts by terrorist organizations.
Crime Stoppers programs are operated as non profit organizations and managed by a volunteer board of directors who take the responsibility of fundraising and paying rewards to individuals who anonymously call with information that helps solve crime. Rewards are paid for tips that lead to the arrest and indictment of people charged with felony offences and to date Crime Stoppers statistics show a conviction rate of some 95 percent.
Ernie Ballard | Writer | Office of Communications & University Relations