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Forensic artist details victim found in suitcase in sketch based on bones

(WSPA) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released a sketch of the second set of bones to be found in a suitcase near a Georgia highway in a year-and-a-half.

Four months ago, a driver, looking for a lost tire along I-75 near Jackson Georgia, stumbled upon the suitcase with bones inside.

Since the remains had likely been in that suitcase for some time,the bones were the only thing the sketch artist had to work with.

"In some cases I'll have some hair left with the body, or some clothing left with the body that can give me little hints in that case. But in this particular instance, I had nothing, I just had the bones," said Kelly Lawson, the Forensic Artist with the GBI, who drew the sketch.   

So how did Lawson come up with such a descriptive sketch.   

"There are certain tell-tale signs in the skull. There are little notches right on the inside of the eye socket that can tell me what direction the eyes are turned there's a little stem in the bottom of the nose that allows me to see if the nose point up like mine, whether it points straight up or whether it points down.  The thickness of the lips, usually falls about the same length of the actual enamel on the person's teeth," said Lawson.

It was the gap in the teeth, in particular Lawson says that most defined this woman, between 19 and 45 years old, anywhere from 5 feet to five foot 8 inches tall.

"I put her hand up there to draw attention to the fact that her teeth were very unique and I actually had those teeth to look at, which is rare because a lot of times the teeth will be missing."

A year and a half earlier, 45 minutes on the other side of Atlanta, a DOT worker had discovered the first suitcase to be found with bones inside.

This sketch, made by another artist was released months later, but still no victim has been identified.   

Lawson says she prefers all her work to be in color, and reflective of the life that once was. 

"She deserves the best I have to give, it's not enough for me just to do a black and white straight on drawing.  I want to do something that gets people's attention, because the more people that see it the better."


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