A haunting image is moving millions of people – it is a photo of a beautiful girl with chubby cheeks and big expressive eyes.
But this is not a photograph.
It's a computer generated image. She is known only as Baby Doe. The body of the four-year-old was found in a garbage bag on a beach in Boston Harbor last month.
Forensic artist Christi Andrews of the Center For Missing And Exploited Children was given the heartbreaking autopsy photos and asked by law enforcement to recreate Baby Doe as she may have looked in life.
Andrews said: “She was too decomposed to use the photos we received. So we started new composite using facial parts from a library we have of stock photos.”
She showed INSIDE EDITION how she created the face that has now been viewed 50 million times online worldwide.
“I'll choose a face shape that feels similar to the deceased,” she said.
She added eyes, matching the size and color of the dead child's.
“Then it’s really just piece by piece. Finding a nose, each facial part is going to be individually manipulated,” she said.
And Baby Doe's face gradually comes to life.
“She was found with a red hair tie but it came back later that she had longer hair,” she said.
Earrings were added after the medical examiner discovered baby doe's ears were pierced.
There are other clues too. She was wearing polka dot pants with a Circo label, purchased at Target. She was wrapped in a zebra stripe blanket bought at K-Mart.
Baby Doe bears a striking resemblance to an age progression image of Aliayah Lunsford, a West Virginia toddler missing since 2011. Police say they checked and Baby Doe is not Aliayah.
But hundreds of other leads are pouring in. Someone out there knows who she is and what happened to her. Thanks to the work of this artist, we now know what the little angel known as Baby Doe looks like.
Andrews said: "This child doesn't have a name. We don't know where the family is. We don’t know what happened to the child. They’re a number. We don't want them to be a number.”
Authorities are trying to determine the exact cause of death. There are no signs of injury or trauma to the body. But, they believe the girl was already dead when she was placed in the harbor.
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