Female victim of Ohio serial killer may have been born in Louisiana

(WAFB) - Officials in Ohio sent out a bulletin to several southern states Tuesday in an attempt to identify a female they believe was killed by a serial killer in Ohio, Shawn Grate.

The information from the Ohio Bureau of Crime Investigation was sent to officials in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

The victim's bones were sent to the University of South Florida for isotope analysis, which determined the woman was likely born in one of the above states. Testing also showed she likely spent the last five years of her life in Texas, Florida, or the Caribbean.

"This victim is believed to have died at the hands of a cold-blooded killer who later went on to kill others, and the fact that she has been unidentified all this time makes her case even more tragic. By sending this bulletin, we hope this case will get more attention outside of Ohio and that someone will recognize a face they haven't seen in more than a decade," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Grate confessed to murdering a woman in Marion County and was sentenced to death last week in Ashland County for two more murders. He's also the suspect in two other deaths in Richland County. The remains of the woman killed in Marion County were found off Victory Road on March 10, 2007, although she may have been killed several years before. Grate told officials he may have killed the woman, who he thought was a magazine saleswoman, between 2004 and 2005.

Forensic artists have done a facial reconstruction of the female killed in Marion County. She's believed to have been between 15 and 30-year-old when she died. She had brown hair and was likely between 5' 3" and 5' 9" tall. She likely weighed between 100 to 150 lbs. Her teeth were well cared for and she had no obvious dental work or fillings.

"We hope that law enforcement in these southern states will examine their missing persons reports and contact us if any of their cases are a potential match. Members of the public are also urged to spread the word about this case. We want as many people as possible to see this facial reconstruction because this young woman was someone's daughter, she was someone's friend, and someone out there knows her name," said Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey.

Anyone with information on the woman's identity should contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 740-845-2406 or call Marion County Sheriff's Detective Christy Utley at 740-382-8244 ext. 5120.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.