ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KSDK/CNN) - There is a break in the cold case of a decapitated girl.
Investigators are hoping to finally identify the child who died in 1983.
Against the cold February wind, a little girl nobody knew and no family came to pray for was buried in a wooden box in Washington Park Cemetery.
"The news media and the police department filled that void," Dan Fox, an investigator, said. "There has been no family to talk to because we don't know who she is."
Detectives named her Hope. They found her headless body in an empty building on Clemmons in North St. Louis. She was wearing a sweater and jeans. She had nail polish on.
"We don't believe she was officially reported missing," Fox said.
Fox said investigators tried everything they could to find Hope's family. They took Hope's DNA before they buried her. Time and neglect pushed Hope's body under the cemetery earth. Officers lost track of where Hope was buried.
Washington University researchers used high-tech equipment a few months ago to help officers find hope's body. Volunteers helped exhume her.
"Thirty years, it was pretty much to a point we were dealing with bones," Fox said.
He found a new isotope test that could help his cold case. "Looks at the minerals in your bones, and it gives a geographical region you may be from," Fox said.
Hope may have lived in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Fox said he hopes somebody in those states will "maybe give us the key we've been missing."
It's his last hope before he and his investigators bury Hope one more time in a new cemetery.
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