Pecos police hoping to identify girl who drowned 54 years ago

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Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 4:06 PM CDT
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The Pecos Police Department is taking new steps to solve a case that went cold more than 50 years ago.

At the Fairview Cemetery, every grave here marks the spot where families can find their loved ones to mourn, except for one.

One stone only reads “UNKNOWN GIRL DROWNED JULY 5, 1966.”

Decades ago, a teenage girl checked into the Roper’s Motel with another young man and somehow drowned in the pool, which has since been filled in during construction.

Without any family members to identify the body, the nameless grave is the best anyone could do.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Pecos Police Chief Lisa Tarango said. “I have daughter and granddaughters and I can’t imagine not knowing where they are or what happened to them.”

That’s why this case has been reopened.

Pecos investigators have partnered with Othram, a forensics lab that specializes in analyzing degraded remains.

Pecos pd sent the girl’s remains to the lab where they’ll extract DNA and then genealogists will use that data to connect her to a family tree.

“And then you look into the family tree and that leads you to close blood related family members and from there it’s just a search,” Tarango said.

Tarango said investigations like this would have been impossible back in the 60s.

But now she’s optimistic that this time the forensics team will find answers that have eluded her town for a generation.

“It’s someone’s daughter or sister or, y’know, there’s a family out there somewhere who is missing this portion of their family,” she said.

A piece that’s been missing for far too long.

If anyone recognizes the sketch of the girl as part of their family, they can reach out to The Pecos Police Department to try to match their DNA with the lab results.

To learn more about Othram, click here. If you’d like to help contribute to this investigation, you can donate by clicking here.

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