Oct. 12 -16 forensic workshop will focus on nine unsolved homicide cases
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2015) – Forensic artists from across the country will create facial reconstructions from nine Florida cold cases in conjunction with the Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science (IFAAS) at the University of South Florida, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and sheriff’s departments throughout the state.
The forensic artists will be working on the facial reconstructions from Oct. 12-16 at USF in the lab run by Dr. Erin Kimmerle, USF anthropologist and Director of IFAAS. Media is invited to document their progress from 1-2 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday at the USF Tampa campus in the Sociology building (SOC), room number 21. A campus map can be found here.
The final busts will be revealed on Friday, Oct. 16, at the “Art of Forensics: Solving Florida’s Cold Cases” event from 1-3 p.m. at the USF Tampa Campus in the Interdisciplinary Sciences building (ISA) on the seventh floor. The address is 12030 USF Cherry Drive, Tampa, FL 33620.
The artists will be using 3D printed skulls to reconstruct the faces of the nine cold case victims. The idea of pairing 3D printed skulls with a team of artists was conceived by forensic artist Joe Mullins, who has worked for NCMEC for the past 15 years. He has created countless age progression photos of missing children, as well as hundreds of skull reconstructions. However, it took him eight years to get outside artists involved in the process because medical examiners prohibited them from using real skulls from crime scenes. When Mullins incorporated 3D printing into the mix, he planned his first event in New York in Jan. 2015. Video from that event can be found here.
Mullins will lead the workshop in Kimmerle’s lab, and he will also speak during the Art of Forensics as the busts are unveiled on Friday, Oct. 16. Keynote speakers for the event are Thirteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Mark A. Ober and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. Additional guest speakers at Friday’s event include Kimmerle and USF Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Eric Eisenberg.
In addition to creating the facial reconstructions, Kimmerle and her team will perform skeletal analysis and chemical isotope testing in an effort to help identify the victims. Several forensic scientists will also be at the workshop to share their expertise and conduct lab work for the each of the cases. A model of the latest GPS mapping technology of unsolved cold cases throughout Florida will be demonstrated.
The finished busts, sheriffs from the counties contributing the cold cases, artists and key speakers will all be present and available for questions and photos at Friday’s event.
While the Art of Forensics event is only open to invited media, the busts will be moved after the Oct. 16 event for public display to:
The Richard A. and Patricia P. Waterman Gallery
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., SOC111
Tampa, FL 33620
The goal of IFAAS, NCMEC and the sheriff’s offices is to identify the victims, solve the crimes and help family and friends of the victims find closure. Anyone seeing news coverage of the event who can identify the busts or provide information about the cases, is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or submit tips here: https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=155&P3ID=155&DSID=155 Tips given directly to Crime Stoppers that lead to an arrest are eligible for a cash reward.
For more detail about the Art of Forensics event, the scientifically artistic process and a full description of each cold case, please visit the USF website here: http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=7013&z=221&utm_source=art-of-forensic-100115&utm_medium=rotator&utm_campaign=usfhomepage
COLD CASE SUMMARIES
Case 1: 1981 – Two boys walking in a ditch between U.S. 98 and the railroad tracks at Tuskegee Avenue in Dade City, Fla. discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified, possibly black male between the ages of 40-50 years old.
Case 2: 1990 – Pasco County Detective Rodney Bishop was conducting an area search of an unrelated murder when he discovered the remains of an adult male, approximately 0.25 miles south of SR 54 on the east side of Smith Road in Wesley Chapel (now the north exit of Meadow Point Neighborhood).
Case 3: 1972 – A teenage boy passing along a wooded area of High Corner Road in Brooksville, Fla. discovered the remains of a woman 30-40 years of age in a white bra and white, bikini-style underwear. A couple of days prior, a light colored ‘61-‘62 Ford Falcon was seen with three people entering the woods – only two came out.
Case 4: 2009 – A citizen walking in a wooded area near the intersection of Palmetto Road and Surona Road in Hillsborough County discovered human skeletal remains of a Hispanic juvenile who was determined to have been dead anywhere from six months to five years.
Case 5: 1988 – A citizen walking in a wooded area at Wilderness Park Flatwoods, on the west side of Morris Bridge Road and approximately 1.2 miles north of the Hillsborough River discovered the remains of a black male between the ages of 28-34 years old with two bullet holes in the skull.
Case 6: 2015 – A county worker was mowing the property located behind the Loughman Community Park at 6302 Old Kissimmee Road when he noticed buzzards in the adjacent field. As he got closer, he discovered the unclothed remains of a white female between the ages of 30-45, next to a medium-sized pink sweatshirt.
Case 7: 1979 – A Florida Forest Service employee discovered a clothed skeleton as he was responding to a small brush fire in Alachua County. The remains were that of a white male between the ages of 30-40, adjacent to a rope tied into a noose.
Case 8: 1987 – An unidentified, juvenile male was driving a stolen 1986 Chevrolet Corvette northbound on Interstate 75 in Alachua County when he struck a concrete barrier, flipped over into the oncoming lane and struck a semi-tractor trailer head-on. The Corvette ignited into flames, completely consuming the driver beyond recognition and destroying any evidence that might have been in the vehicle.
Case 9: 1967 – Two hunters discovered the remains of a black or Native American female between the ages of 25-30, off an unmarked road approximately 4.25 miles southeast of Fort McCoy, off of Highway 315. The time of death is approximately the same year as the discovery of the remains.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.