WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — The sheriff in Pulaski County says he is asking his detectives to close the case of an adolescent whose skeletal remains were found three years ago near Dixon.

In his weekly newsletter, Sheriff Ron Long says the latest forensic examination of the child’s skull has determined they died 45 years before the skull was discovered in the fall of 2013.  Additionally, Long says there is no forensic evidence that the death was a homicide.

The skull was found in October, 2013 on private land near Route 28 near Dixon, by a photographer taking senior pictures.

The latest tests, done by the Department of Physics at the University of Arizona-Tucson, determined the child was 10 to 12 years old at the time of death, and that they had died between 1967 and 1970. 

“Since there are no additional leads, along with no evidence implicating this individual’s death was a homicide, I will be recommending that investigators close this investigation,” Long said.

In a separate investigation, Long says the same university conducted tests on the remains of a woman, now known as Jane Doe.  Her remains were found in north-eastern Pulaski County in 1981.  Long says that case “continues to gain momentum.”

Our earlier reporting on the adolescent’s death (first posted in 2014)

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. – The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department brought in a special team of investigators Saturday in an attempt to discover more information about human remains found near Dixon about a year ago.

On Oct. 26, 2013 a photographer shooting senior pictures found a human skull on private property near Route 28.

Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long said his office has had forensic anthropologists examine the skull. Through their work, anthropologists have said the skull is that of an adolescent and the person died 2-8 years ago. The gender is not known.

Long said the unit working in the woods this weekend is a specially trained unit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The unit works in conjunction with the FBI.

The unit has K9’s specially trained to find human remains. Long said the purpose of bringing in the experts is to find more remains or any other clues in a case that has baffled his department.

“If don’t succeed the first time, you continue your efforts to try do so,” Long said. “In something like this to where we had a very limited amount of remains and a very limited amount of evidence at the scene, we have to come in and build a case and it’s a very time consuming endeavor to do that.”

Pulaski County Detective Doug Reno said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used the skull to create a sketch of what the child may have looked like.

Reno said there are 350 missing children in Missouri and there are more cases where there is not enough information to create a sketch. Reno said every missing child deserves to have a face.