• Police hope sketch leads to identity of woman's body found in suitcase

    By: Tony Thomas


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County police hope a new sketch will help them get closer to identifying a potential murder victim.

    The woman’s remains were found in a suitcase. Authorities don't even know her name.

    A forensic anthropologist has come up with the sketch after looking over the remains more than five months after the woman died.

    When a Department of Transportation contracting crew spotted the suitcase about a hundred feet or so off the northbound lanes of Interstate 985, they opened up a case that still has police baffled.

    “It appears there is a skull, very small, in a very small suitcase. Say 4 feet by 4 feet,” investigators said shortly after the remains were found.

    With all other leads exhausted, county homicide investigators sought the help of an expert, as they tried to figure out what the 20- to 29-year-old looked like when she was alive.

    “We believe she is possibly Asian, Indian or eastern Indian,” said Cpl. Michele Pihera, of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

    Authorities also believe the woman had suffered from slight scoliosis in her back and had had a previous rib injury that had already healed.

    “Once this case came out in July, we received numerous tips from family members who gave us pictures of their loved ones, DNA, and we've tested all of those but none of them have been a link to this missing woman here,” Pihera said.


    The remains were stuffed in a suitcase. Investigators at the time estimated the woman had been killed about six months before she was found.

    “We just need to know her story. It's important that not only her family gets closure but we need to solve this case as well,” Pihera said.

    Police said in addition to not knowing who the woman is, investigators also have no idea what exactly caused her death, saying there were no obvious signs of trauma that could be found on the bones.

    Police say anyone with possible information should contact the Gwinnett County Police Department Criminal Investigations Section at 770-513-5300.

    You can also call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. 

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