Madison County investigators learned Monday that it was a toddler whose remains were discovered over the weekend in a container dumped along a remote pasture.
The decomposed body — a girl with black hair who was estimated to be roughly 16 inches tall — was unrecognizable, according to Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley, who said only bones, liquids and clothing were in the container.
He declined to identify what she was wearing or what type of box the girl was left in, hoping to use that information when they eventually question suspects.
But on Monday — two days after the gruesome discovery was made by a land owner mowing his pasture — investigators had no idea who their victim was or any possible suspects.
“We do know she’s between 2 and 5, but we don’t know what race she is at this point, how she died, when she died,” Neeley said, adding that the experts at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas will continue analyzing the DNA they do have.
A piece of evidence that could prove to be key in the case was discovered in the girl’s underdeveloped skeletal frame — a medical apparatus commonly used for tube feeding.
Neeley said the information was entered into the National Database for Missing and Exploited Children, but their investigation won’t stop there.
“It’ll be difficult,” he said. “Anytime you get a body that just appears — there’s no crime scene other than the immediate body itself and articles on the body, and the body is severely decomposed, well, it’s going to take a lot of work to find out what happened to this little girl.”
His department is asking anyone with information to call 936-348-2755.
The container was dropped over a fence that’s about 40 feet from the edge of I-45’s feeder road, almost a mile and a half south of OSR.
“It’s in the middle nowhere,” Neeley said. “There are no houses within sight. Someone did not want this child to be found.”