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New DNA technology used to create image of unidentified homicide victim in Galveston

Woman's body found decapitated at Galveston Island State Park in 1988

GALVESTON, Texas – A cold case in Galveston County could be reopened after new DNA technology was used to produce a composite image of the unidentified female victim.

In April 1988, a visitor to Galveston Island State Park found the decapitated body of the woman, who is being called "Jane Doe." She suffered several stab wounds in her chest.

The Galveston Police Department contacted Parabon NanoLabs, a company that specializes in predicting physical appearance and ancestry from DNA. The company was able to determine that Jane Doe was a female of Asian descent and possibly from Central East Asia, the home of the Han, Miaozu, Naxi, She, Tujia and Yizu populations in China.

She was 15 to 25 years old, around 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 110 to 150 pounds. She was wearing a 36B brassiere, a dress slip and size 32 women's underwear.

The medical examiner described a smallpox vaccination scar on the upper part of her left arm.

Galveston police noted that the image is not intended to be an exact replica, as individual predictions were made to create the composite.

“Hopefully we get a huge influx of calls from families that have been missing a loved one for 28 years, and from that point we would have DNA swabbed to compare to a sample we have from this particular victim,” said Derek Gaspard of the Galveston Police Department.

He says the technology can also be used to possibly help identify suspects.

Anyone with information on a missing Asian female who resembles the description of Jane Doe, please contact the Galveston Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division tip line at 409-765-3762.