NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — ‘Tis the season of ghosts, werewolves, witches and zombies. Halloween waits at week’s end.
My wife carved the pumpkin at left, took its picture and sent it to me over the cell phone. She claims Halloween as her favorite holiday.
“There’s much less pressure than the other ones,” Tanya says. “It’s pure fun. And I like the origination of the holiday as an opportunity to commune with ones who are gone.”
Unfortunately, some people never know if their loved one is truly gone. They just disappear. From the other side, the system occasionally finds victims of crimes without knowing who the victim was.
For your Halloween treat, examine what happens to the unidentified dead in 21st century Arkansas through an article I wrote earlier this year.
Tell Me, Who are You?
Tracking the Unidentified Dead
By Ronald Sitton
Nobody knows the last thought that went through her head, but Little Rock homicide Detective John “J.C.” White knows the last thing was a bullet.
|Have You Seen Me? — Little Rock Police still want to know who this woman was. If you have any information, contact Det. John “J.C.” White in homicide at 501-371-4660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
She wore Arizona-brand carpenter jeans with a black leather belt and a large brown T-shirt. Over this, an extra-extra large dark blue windbreaker and jumpsuit pants while white-and-blue Reeboks clad her feet. A gold-and-silver link bracelet hung from her wrist. Standing between 5’3” and 5’7” with black hair and a nose broken earlier in life, the black woman could have been anywhere between 18 and 40.
On a walk with its owner in August 2002, a dog uncovered her tennis shoes and bones face-down under a pile of pink insulation behind an abandoned-looking house at 2772 Reservoir Road. The first responding officer would have started the investigation by preserving the scene, especially any physical evidence that would lead to identification of the victim or a suspect.
Dr. Cheryl May, a forensic anthropologist from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Criminal Justice Institute, estimated the victim’s body had been there for several months. Inventory of her various clothes would later help with educated guesses of her overall size. Pictures of the scene show an apparently abandoned house, but crime scene investigators found nothing of evidentiary value like a bullet casing or murder weapon – though they did find more of her teeth.
Continue the article here!
This article originally appeared in the August 2008 issue of the Arkansas Free Press.