CAN A FORENSIC SCULPTOR HELP IDENTIFY A MURDERED TEENAGE GIRL? --"48 HOURS MYSTERY," SATURDAY, JAN. 7
On the night of May 1, 2003, a teenage girl's body is found in a trash bag left behind a restaurant in peaceful Castro Valley, Calif. The gruesome discovery became one detective's obsession and touched the entire community, which came to call the young girl "Castro Valley's Jane Doe." When no one claimed Jane, the chances of tracking down her killer were very slim. But can modern-day forensic reconstruction help solve this mystery and bring a killer to justice? Correspondent Harold Dow reports on this case and another case in which this forensic technique helps solve the murder of a man from Bellevue, Iowa. 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "The Girl Next Door" will be broadcast Saturday, Jan. 7 (10:00 -- 11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Not only were the police highly involved in Jane's case, but the townspeople of Castro Valley developed a deep connection for the young girl whose life was cut short. The community rallied to raise money to bury Jane.
Local detectives worked countless hours and followed hundreds of leads that led nowhere. Then, two years after Jane was found, in a dramatic last-ditch effort to identify the young woman, Detective Scott Dudek of the Alameda County Sheriff's office made the decision to exhume Jane's body to search for clues that might have been missed.
48 HOURS had access to the exhumation and to the team of forensic experts as they studied Jane. Forensic artist Gloria Nusse embarked on an incredible journey over several weeks, creating a forensic reconstruction of Jane's face based on nothing but the skull. As detectives unveil the lifelike sculpture, they are confident it will help someone recognize this girl.
Correspondent Harold Dow talks to another forensic sculptor, Frank Bender, of Philadelphia, whose facial reconstruction actually helped solve another murder. Gregory May disappeared in January 2001 from Bellevue, Iowa -- his children suspected foul play. When May's antique collection turned up for auction, police found the seller to be May's former roommate. Officials thought they had a case for murder, but with no body it would be tough to prove. In a remarkable twist, cops found a skull at a truck stop hundreds of miles from Iowa. They tried to find out who the victim was and who wanted him dead. Bender was brought the skull to reconstruct the face -- and authorities would later identify it as May. The case for murder could now go forward and a family would have closure for a beloved father. Detective Dudek is hoping for the same outcome in the Castro Valley case of Jane Doe.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "The Girl Next Door" is produced by Clare Friedland and Jay Young. The senior producer is Judy Tygard and the executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.