Technology aids with decades old cold case - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Technology aids with decades old cold case

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County officials are hoping technology will help them crack a cold case.

Take a look at the attached picture. It shows the reconstruction of a woman who was found dead in the desert, just south of the Pima County fairgrounds 32 years ago.

Authorities say she suffered head trauma, and to this day, they have no idea who she is.

Sheriff's officials say technology is really helping them breathe new life into these cold cases. There are dozens of them in Pima County and just two full-time detectives looking for new leads every day.

"As a detective, you always want to bring closure to a case," said Detective Mark O'Dell with the PCSO Cold Case Unit.

The leads may have run cold, but the memories of these lost lives still burn in the minds of those they've left behind: nameless, faceless bodies; murdered, some dumped like trash out in the desert.

"The woman had obvious trauma to the head and body," O'Dell said.

Thanks to sophisticated DNA technology and facial reconstruction software, the nameless woman now has a face. Detectives are pretty confident about the accuracy of image. New technology means her remains can stay in Pima County while experts go to work on special computers located across the country.

"Body parts that may be brittle, we don't have to send those out anymore," O'Dell said. "[We] sent them to a local hospital with cat scan. They can take measurements."

This Jane Doe is just one of many cases in Pima County.

A big break in 2010 when hard work paid off.  The cold case of Gary Triano, a man killed in a car bomb set off at the La Paloma Country Club, was solved almost 14 years later.

That lead to the arrest of Pamela Phillips, a murder for hire over a $2 million insurance policy.

Every cold case like this one is a race against time.

"The longer it sits, the more things can disappear. Evidence can fade away, people pass away, telephone numbers change," said PCSO Spokesman, Dep. Tracy Suitt.

Pima County has listed the faces of every cold case victim on their website; the link it attached.

if you have any information on a cold case, please call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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