MNLA.com photo by John Schreiber

Orange County sheriff’s investigators Thursday released an updated artist’s drawing of a suspected homicide victim to generate new leads in the case.

Forensic artist Carl Koppelman developed the image, which shows the unidentified woman with longer hair and a top she may have been wearing at the time of her demise. It also shows the victim’s distinct gold tooth.

The case began in April 1983 when children found a human skull in a culvert while frolicking around Canada and Old Trabuco roads in Lake Forest. An excavation helped investigators recover about 70% of the woman’s remains.

Investigators suspect the Black or mixed-race woman was about 18 to 24 years old and was 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-6 and had a slight build. She had a gold crown on her left lateral incisor.

Her cause of death is undetermined, but investigators suspect she was killed.

Investigators in 2018 explored the possibility that serial killer Samuel Little may have been involved because he targeted Black woman between 1970 and 2005 in multiple states. The long-haul truck driver confessed to 93 victims, including 13 in California, but investigators could not establish a link with the killer, who died in 2020 while in prison.

An artist’s rendering in 2019 that was released failed to generate any new leads.

Anyone who might have helpful information for investigators was asked to call Bob Taft at 714-647-7045 or email coldcase@ocsheriff.gov. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.

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