LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s been almost two years since a human head was found along Highway 27 in Cameron Parish.
“You have to think that anyone who has gone missing has a loved one out there who is looking for them, who is missing them," Calcasieu Coroner’s Office Chief Investigator Charlie Hunter said. “We are just hoping to circulate that picture to as many people as we can hoping that someone will call.”
On March 1, 2018, as trash pick-up crews worked along La. 27 they spotted a plastic bag. When they opened it, they discovered a human head.
To this day, the woman has never been identified.
Hunter says the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office and Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office have never stopped searching.
“We keep trying to get the face out there on social media, news broadcasts, just hoping that someone will recognize this woman from the reconstruction," Hunter said.
Last week, the Coroner’s Office put the LSU FACES lab facial reconstruction of the woman, determined to be white or Hispanic and between 30 to 50 years old with medium length brown hair, on social media again.
They say that doing this every few months has led to numerous tips, some from as far away as Colorado.
“The one thing that we didn’t realize when we first discovered the severed head on the side of the highway is how common of a thing this actually is around the country," Hunter said. “We receive phone calls from dozens of agencies who have similar situations where they just find a human head, or the complete opposite, where they discover the remains of a human body minus the head and are looking for those matches. We did have several close possibilities. It’s very common for here in Southwest Louisiana where we find a body dumped off a rural roadway or something similar to the severed head, but it comes from Texas. Most of the cases historically have ultimately led us to somewhere in the East Texas area. So we did have a possible match out of Houston. That case is still ongoing and the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office is working back and forth with law enforcement agencies over there to continue that investigation to see if it possibly has something to do with the case they are working over there.”
Hunter says he wants the public to know authorities want to find answers.
“I think the biggest thing is to not let it rest and to make sure everyone knows we aren’t going to let it rest," Hunter said. "Every 6 months sending out that post we receive dozens of phone calls the last week with dozens of possibilities that are being investigated by investigators in this office and the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office and some of those are promising. The one thing we can assure the public is that we will not stop until this person is identified, the family is made aware that their loved one has passed away, and ultimately we get an arrest or conviction from someone. We have cases that date back to the 1990′s that are still open. They are in the NamUs database. We have CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) profiles, DNA profiles in the database on all of our unidentified so they are constantly being run through the database. It’s just a matter of time before we either get that right tip or get a DNA hit.”
Hunter encourages anyone with information, no matter how seemingly small it may be, to contact them or the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s important for people to know, for the community to know that no matter how big or how small you think that hey, this could possibly be this person, or it looks like this person we used to see at the grocery store or at the mall or wherever else," Hunter said. "Any tip like that could essentially solve the case for us.”
The Calcasieu Coroner’s Office can be reached at 337-477-7437, while the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 337-775-5111.