MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday revealed the rendering of a woman whose body was found in a wooded area of Goose Creek back in 1977.
But how did the sheriff’s office utilize new technology to help them reconstruct the woman’s image 45 years later?
“We currently have two detectives assigned to our cold case unit. They are juggling anywhere from 25 to 35 cases at any given time,” said. Maj. David Brabham with BCSO.
They currently have 32 cold cases they are working on. The woman highlighted during Wednesday’s press conference is just an example of how they are using new technology to crack old cases.
“The ability to take a human skill and actually put muscle and skin and develop a fairly accurate depiction of that person.”
New techniques can now be used to soak old evidence, and gather DNA from the evidence that may not have been possible in the past.
“It’s a process that is able to take and extract DNA from pieces of evidence we may not be able to get touch DNA off of.”
Some improvements are not new technology, but rather quick access to technology in-house. One example is the AFIS fingerprint system, allowing fingerprints to be identified at the sheriff’s office.
“Able to run it possibly the next day in order to see if we can identify our suspect which would’ve taken probably a week or better having to run to another agency.”
Also, their new forensics lab makes processing evidence quicker.
Some technology may be available even out of state.
The remains found in Mt. Holly in 1977 were sent to Texas and then Florida to gather more info. They learned the body was a woman, and they were able to recreate what she likely looked like via computers.
“A lot of that’s afforded to some of these areas through federal grants and that’s made available to us at no charge because of that federal money.”
“Our job is to speak for the victims and their families and so when we’re able to utilize this technology and come back and solve a case regardless of age I think it benefits and gives a lot of closure to the families.”
The next step in the case of the woman who was found in 1977, they’re going to start looking into her genealogy in hopes of finding someone who may be a match.