The Kings County Sheriff’s Office has released a sketch of a woman whose decomposed body was found dumped on a canal bank south of Corcoran.
Sheriff Dave Robinson said he hopes someone will recognize her and call authorities.
The woman appears to be over 45 years old and most likely well over 60, he said.
It is not the body of Debbie Hawk, who has been missing for more than nine years and whose husband, Dave Hawk, was found guilty of murder, he said.
The body was found May 13 in an advanced state of decomposition, but a forensic anthropologist examined the body and found some clues, he said.
The body is of an older adult female of European descent. She was 5 feet to 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and likely had gray or graying blond hair.
She had no teeth, and it appeared she was prepped for a full set of upper and lower dentures, but none were located.
She had osteoporosis, and if she was mobile would likely have been hunched over. There is a good chance she was bedridden.
There are no signs of trauma and no indication of homicide, he said.
Detective Sam Weimer contacted other agencies attempting to match the body to missing persons reports and came up empty.
There’s somebody out there missing somebody.
Detective Sam Weimer, Kings County Sheriff’s Office
“It absolutely does pull at the heart strings,” he said. “There’s somebody out there missing somebody.”
She appears to have died between May 2014 and April of this year.
The anthropologist found evidence of a pelvic fracture possibly the result of an impact earlier in her life, Robinson said.
She had an old fracture in her nose, which would skew slightly to the left.
“Perhaps she died and there was some monetary gain to a family member or something by not reporting her death,” he said. “That’s one of the avenues we’re investigating.”
Investigators speculate that the woman is not from this area because of the location of the dumped body, but suspect she was from south of Kings County, he said.
She had no identifying marks or jewelry, and the body was too decomposed to obtain fingerprints, Robinson said.
She was wearing a horizontally striped T-shirt originally sold by Walmart, black loose-fitting yoga-style pants and Depends-type underwear.
She was found wrapped in a tarp by a birdwatcher next to the Homeland canal 15 miles south of Corcoran and five miles north of the Kern County line.
“This is an extremely rural area for us in Kings County,” Robinson said. Some farmhouses are nearby, but calls for service are infrequent, and days or weeks may pass before a deputy visits the area, he said.
The composite sketch was prepared by the Can You Identify Me organization. It was done during a live event at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, he said.
Her DNA did not match that of missing persons in the state Department of Justice database, and investigators suspect she never was reported missing.
Anyone who recognizes the woman or has information that could help solve the case is asked to call Weimer at 559-852-2804, call or text his cellphone at 559-362-1758, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.