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$50,000 reward offered for information on woman's body found downtown near recycled trash

April 7, 2011 | 11:19 am

Sketch of woman found with recycled trash near downtown Los Angeles. A $50,000 reward was announced Thursday for information that could identify a woman’s remains and lead detectives to those responsible for her death, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The decomposed female body, dubbed by police as Jane Doe No. 52, .was found with recycled trash last September near downtown Los Angeles, authorities said

The L.A. County coroner’s office has classified her death as murder but has been unable to determine the cause of death “due to an extreme state of decomposition,” according to a statement by police.

A forensic anthropologist has been able to determine the woman was white, which could also mean she was of Latino or Native American origin, and she was between 50 and 70 years old, police said.

A sketch artist has been able to create a composite of a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length hair and some age lines.

One of the woman’s identifying features includes a dental crown described by a forensic dentist as “very high quality” and most likely performed by an experienced dentist within two weeks of her death, police said.

The woman was found wearing this ring. The woman also was found wearing a sterling silver ring with an inexpensive blue Alexandrite center stone surrounded by cubic zirconium stones, authorities said.

A jeweler estimated the ring to be more than 40 years old, based on wear patterns, police said.

“Not knowing the cause of death nor the woman’s identity makes this case extremely challenging,” Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division, said in a statement.

He noted authorities were hopeful the deceased woman’s dentist might recognize the dental work, the sketch or the ring.

“We have no doubt that identifying Jane Doe No. 52 will lead us to someone who knows how she died,” Vernon said.

Detectives have created a Facebook page called the Body Recycler, on which the public can get and provide information.

Citizens with information are also urged to call Det. Thayer Lake of the Central Homicide Unit at (213) 972-1254.

Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at (800) 222-8477, or by texting 274637 with a cellphone. All text messages should begin with the letters LAPD.

The $50,000 reward is being sponsored by Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

Image: Sketch of woman found with recycled trash near downtown Los Angeles. Photo: The woman was found wearing this ring. Credit: LAPD

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