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Girl found dead along Texas highway in 2016 may be from Arizona

Investigators are hopeful someone in southern Arizona might remember seeing a young girl whose skeletal remains were later found in a suitcase along a Texas highway.

TEXAS, USA — Five years after a young girl was found dead inside a suitcase along a Texas highway, her death is still an unsolved mystery.

Detectives have little to go on, but they do believe the girl could have been from an area in southeastern Arizona.

On Sept. 17, 2016, the skeletal remains of a little girl, her pink dress, and blankets were all found dumped in a pasture on the side of a Texas highway.

“All the indications are that most likely the person responsible for placing the remains of the young child on the side of the road, they are not from our area,” said Chuck Fleeger with the Amber Alert Network. “The pollen analysis has indicated at least a tie to the southwestern United States, particularly it’s the southeastern Arizona or northern Mexico.”

Fleeger, who has been digging into the case, says someone in that area probably knows something.

“Somebody is going to remember seeing a small child that had medical issues,” he said. “They’re going to know that approximately 5 ½ years ago, she went missing.”

He says something is going to jar their memory, which could lead to answers for investigators with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

“They need a name,” Fleeger said.

Credit: 12 News
Investigators in Texas recovering the remains of a deceased girl found in a suitcase along the highway in 2016.

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In 2019, investigators released a picture of a feeding tube that was found on the girl’s body.

Experts say the girl, who was between the ages of 2 and 6, likely suffered from a medical condition that affected her ability to eat on her own.

“Somebody is going to remember that she had this medical condition,” Fleeger said.

Using an x-ray scan of the girl's skull, forensic artists from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created images of what she may have looked like.

DNA tests show she could be Caucasian or Hispanic and may have Native American lineage.

“We’re hopeful that somebody is going to remember,” Fleeger added.

If you have any information about the girl, please call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

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