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      Forensic drawings provide hope in skeletal remains case

      Forensic drawings of a child whose skeletal remains were found in Pulaski County last fall depict the victim as both a boy and as a girl.

      Forensic drawings based on the skeletal remains of a child found near Dixon last fall are providing what Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long calls "several leads that are of substantial interest to us."

      Long said after the drawings were released to local news organizations, the "phones are lighting up, which is what we wanted."

      The remains were found in the woods south of Dixon just off highway 28 last fall, and are those of an eight to 13-year-old. The sex of the child has not been determined, although foresic investigators believe the victim is of northern Mexican indigenous origin.

      The forensic drawings depict the victim as both a boy and as a girl. While Long says the drawings are providing leads, he stops short of predicting success. "As far as saying we're going to ID this kid, I can't say that."

      Long said he isn't sure the child was the victim of murder. He said the victim could have died from something else and been dumped along the side of the road.

      The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department has been getting help from a number of agencies from around the country. These include individual forensic anthropologists as well as those associated with the Center for Human Identification in Ft. Worth, Texas; the FBI; the Missouri State Highway Patrol, law enforcement agencies nationwide; and MOCIC, a group of law enforcement agencies in central and southwest Missouri that pool resources.