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Technology and Students Work on "Project Identify"

Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 10:46 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Do you remember Pearl Lady?

She still wore lipstick and pearls when pulled from the Ohio River near Addyston seven years ago.  Now there is a significant new clue that may lead investigators to her real name.

Its thanks to students working on Project Identify at the College of Mt. Saint Joseph in a story youll see only on Local 12 News.

Project Identify students from the college of Mt. St. Joseph go over Pearl Lady's case with the sheriffs detectives.

She was not in the river long. In her black skirt, black blouse, and Monet pearl like necklace, it seemed she was going someplace.  She had no trauma on her face so Pearl's morgue photo was released.

Now the sheriffs department commissioned a forensic artist to electronically open Pearl's dead eyes.

They are hazel, the artist combed out her light brown hair with blonde highlights. There is another clue: she had stretch marks, indicating pearl was at one time pregnant.

You look at this it could be a neighbor, grandmother; that's what makes it so interesting.

The hope is someone will recognize the life-like image 

It's going to happen, we'll find out who she is.

Stapleton does not think Pearl is from around here. But why did she die here? One theory? She was at the casino in Lawrenceburg.

Local 12s Deb Dixon asked, How did you come up with that theory?

The north bend in the river flows east to west. In that case the current changes because of the bend have to be willing to look west as well as east.

Pearl had injuries consistent with a high impact fall. A boat perhaps?
The students will enter the new image into Namus, the database that matches information about the missing with information about the dead. Theyve been collecting data for six months. Everything from DNA  and fingerprints to scars, tattoos and broken bones.

We know Broadway Doe died with a natural tooth, this guy has a filling definitely excluded.

Dental records just removed one more name from the list of possible matches for Broadway Doe.
He was found at the bottom of a staircase on Cincinnatis Broadway in 1988.  The artist also opened his blue eyes.

I have 17 pages of 20 to 30 year olds missing since 1980.  That's surprising how many young people are missing.

17 pages now narrowed down to six possible matches.

I feel personally responsible for finding him, I feel sad he doesn't have a name.

There were 17 pages of possible matches for the Traveler too. Her skeleton was found on Sharon Road in 2009.  The forensic artist used her skull to create an image.

Ive worked so hard on narrowing down cases, I feel responsible for giving her a name.

These new faces of some of Hamilton Countys dead will be in buildings, on Facebook, and sent to police stations around the country. When detectives know who they might be able to answer questions such as: why hasn't Pearl Lady been reported missing?

That means answers for families. Like a mother still waiting for a son to call.

Namus, the National Missing Persons Data System, is open for use by anyone.  Local 12 has a link under the red, Get It button.

Video HERETechnology and Students Work on "Project Identify"

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