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unidentified: little miss nobody

think of all the people that are reported missing each year. how many of them turn up safe, how many of them never get found and how many get found after having met a tragic fate. now think of those bodies found, with no known family to notify, no people to grieve for them, no one to remember their existence. this is for the human beings which are alone, that are unidentified. to give them a moment in someone's memory. although they may be nameless, each unidentified victim has a different story, a face, they shouldn't just be forgotten.

July 31, 1960, in Sand Wash Creek bed in Old Alamo Road in Congress, Arizona a girl's partially buried body was found by a family searching for rocks.

The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy reported that the girl was white, approximately six to seven years old, around three feet seven inches when measured and weighed 50 to 60 pounds. Her hair was brown, however, it was possibly tinted or dyed an auburn colour. The little girl had a full and perfect set of baby teeth.The fingernails and toenails had been painted a bright red colour. She was found wearing white or pink shorts and a contrasting blouse with a distinctive design, along with a pair of adult flip flops which had been cut down to fit her feet. 

According to reports, investigators apparently found a bloodstained pocket knife close to the body, however, it could not be definitely tied to the crime. Investigators at the scene observed that the individual or individuals who were responsible for the burial had made several attempts to dig an alternative grave for the body. This was suggested by the nearby disturbances in the sand. The cause of death was never determined by any medical examiners however they did determine that she had died approximately one to two weeks prior to discovery.

A campaign for funds to provide a burial which was not in a common grave was led by a radio announcer, who first referred to the girl as 'little miss nobody' and spoke of how he did not want the girl to be buried in a grave of violence. Local citizens gave donations and a local forest, the caretakers from the cemetery and a local mortuary provided the funeral services on August 10, 1960. Over 70 people attended the funeral, and a place card on her casket bore the inscription 'God's little child, date of birth unknown, date of death unknown'. 

By March 1961, it was speculated that the victim may have been a four-year-old girl who was missing from Virginia named Debbie Dudley. Investigations had failed to find the remains of the little girls and her remaining siblings after the body of her sister was found in February that years. However, Debbie's remains were later found in the southern portion of Virginia. The parents of the victims were later charged with their murders, as they had died as a result of neglect. It was also suggested that the little girl may have been from a family of immigrants, leading to her burial being carried out the way that it was, however, there was no concrete evidence to support these claims.

Sherrif deputies, the media and private citizens worked extremely hard in order to try and find her identity. Law enforcement personnel travelled hundreds of miles following leads which all lead to completely dead. Suspects in other crimes involving small children were questions. The sheriff's office received dozens of letters and telephone calls asking for information about the child and sharing their possible information.

On August 8, 1961, the sheriff led law enforcement officers and a camera crew to film the location where the body had been found and well as presenting evidence including the adult sized flip-flops the child was found wearing. Crammer, the leading sheriff in the investigation made a statement urging anyone with information to come forward which was later broadcasted. However, when local efforts failed to identify her the FBI also attempted but once again failed. 

The girl's DNA was successfully processed before burial, however, the tests are said not to be complete. The fingerprints of the girls are said to be not available. The profile was used to enter into national databases and compared with missing persons however no matches were found, and no matches have been found since.

During the girl's eulogy, back in 1960, a man conducting the rites told attendees  -

'We may never know the why's and wherefores, but somewhere, someone is going to be watching the paper to learn what happened to a little girl left on the desert. If there has been a misdeed, probably a disquieted conscience will go on and on'

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