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Published: Tuesday, 3/31/2009

Michigan police hope sculpture reveals clues in '80s slaying

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Autopsy photos aided in sculpting a re-creation of the victim. Autopsy photos aided in sculpting a re-creation of the victim.
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

DETROIT - Almost a month after exhuming the remains of a murdered female from a Monroe County cemetery, authorities are hoping the three-dimensional clay reconstruction of her face will lead to her identification.

The body, found 27 years ago today along the Lake Erie shoreline in Frenchtown Township, was taken this month from an unmarked grave in LaSalle Township's Roselawn Cemetery.

Canton Township police in Wayne County asked for the exhumation to determine if the body that of was Kim Marie Larrow, a 15-year-old girl who vanished in 1981.

Detective Jeff Pauli, of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said an analysis of the skeletal remains conducted by a Michigan State University anthropologist concluded the victim was older, probably between 20 and 30.

The remains are being compared to DNA of the Larrow family at the DNA Identity Lab at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth to get a definitive confirmation that they are not the teenager's, Detective Pauli said.

Trooper Sarah Krebs, a forensic artist with Michigan State Police, formed a clay three-dimensional facial model of the victim, using skeletal remains and autopsy photos as guidance.

She said officials hope that facial reconstruction and DNA testing - unavailable in 1982 when the badly decomposed body was found - will hold the clues to the woman's identification.

"We are hoping that somebody - whether her family, friends from school, neighbors - is still looking for her, and they will come across this facial reconstruction and give us the tip we need," Trooper Krebs said. "Without her identification we cannot solve her homicide."

Authorities said the facial reconstruction will be compared to Web sites of missing-person cases, including cases involving kidnapped children and runaways.

The woman, who was wearing a multicolored plaid shirt from Kmart, died of manual strangulation.

She stood between 4 feet, 10 inches, and 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed about 110 pounds.

She had type O blood.

Of the eight facial reconstructions that she has molded in clay since 2002, Trooper Krebs' forensic work has led to the identification of three bodies, including Steven Hudson, a missing Mississauga, Ont., man who washed ashore near the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in May, 2008.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-724-6199.



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