Investigators: Girl found dead in Texas could be from New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a gruesome discovery: a little girl found dead in Madisonville, Texas last September, but new information in the case reveals she could have been from New Mexico.

It was in September 2016 when investigators said two farmers found the body of a little girl inside a suitcase, wrapped in garbage bags. There were two important clues left inside: a feeding tube and pollen grains found in two states, one of them being New Mexico.

Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley said the little girl was between the ages of 2 and 6, and likely had a condition called micrognathia, meaning the lower jaw is small, which would have made it hard for her to eat.

The sheriff said the girl was also wearing a pink dress and a diaper.

“This is not the exact picture of this child, but as close as the technology gets that we have available, this is as close as we could get at what she might look like,” said Neeley.

Last week, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released photos from the crime scene and a composite of what the girl may have looked like.

“Maybe a family member or a caretaker or a medical professional will recognize her as the reconstruction composite here,” said Sheriff Neeley.

The chief investigator with the sheriff’s office, Larry Shiver, told KRQE News 13 the Department of Homeland Security did an analysis of pollen grains found on the girl’s body and inside the suitcase. He said they were able to pinpoint that the girl they found likely came from New Mexico or Arizona.

Shiver said an overwhelming amount of pollen came back of Asteraceae. It’s a member of the sunflower family and commonly found in ragweed in New Mexico.

“We have all this, the latest, greatest, state of the art technology and capability that puts you closer, but yet, you’re still so far,” said Neeley.

Investigators said initially they were hoping a number found on the feeding tube would be a serial number and lead to finding out who the child was, but it was a dead end. The chief investigator said the type of feeding tube they found was distributed to children’s medical facilities across the southwest, including New Mexico.

Shiver said they’ve received multiple tips from New Mexico and Arizona since releasing the sketch and region where she may have lived.

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