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L.A. County coroner seeks help identifying woman found after Station fire

The victim's skull was found in a burned out area two days after hikers discovered the skull of a male who also is unidentified. She is believed to be white or Latina, between the ages of 20 and 40.

July 09, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles County coroner's office is seeking the public's help in identifying a woman whose remains were found last year in the Angeles National Forest after the Station fire.

Coroner's officials this week released a composite sketch of the Jane Doe, who officials believe was a white or Latina woman between the ages of 20 and 40. The sketch was created using clay reconstruction technology.

The woman's skull was found Dec. 26 in a burned-out area below Angeles Forest Highway two days after hikers in the same area discovered a male skull with an apparent bullet hole, officials said.

After the first discovery, forensic experts scoured the site with cadaver dogs and located the second skull, officials said. Examination of other bones found near the skulls led forensic experts to conclude the remains were of a man and a woman.

Several pieces of jewelry were found near the woman's remains, including a gold-colored necklace and three gold-colored rings with multicolored stones, officials said.

Investigators have said the man and woman probably were left in shallow graves, which were "partially unearthed" by the Station fire and fall and winter rainfall, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of the coroner's office.

Officials suspect the bodies could have been there for several years. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators assigned to the case could not be reached for comment.

Since the woman's remains were discovered, officials have contacted numerous law enforcement agencies, checked dental records and searched missing persons and DNA databases, but the trail has come up cold, Winter said.

"Unfortunately, we've gotten nothing," he said. "So we are asking for the public's help."

The male remains also are unidentified, Winter said. No composite sketch has yet been made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Daniel Machian of the Los Angeles County Coroner Identifications Unit at (323) 343-0754 or the Coroner Investigations Division at (323) 343-0714.

melanie.hicken@latimes.com

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