Billboards give cold cases fresh publicity
By KIMBERLY VETTER
Advocate staff writer
Published: Feb 28, 2009 - Page: 2B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.
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The words “Who Am I?” positioned next to an image of a missing person can be seen on a digital billboard at Interstate 10 and College Drive.
The billboard is part of a new partnership between Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers and the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Lab, known as F.A.C.E.S., university officials said.
The partnership is aimed at publicizing some of Louisiana’s unidentified or missing person cases through features on news broadcasts, newspaper advertisements, Internet databases and billboards, LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said.
The first missing person case to be publicized focuses on the body of a woman found in 1985 in Port Allen, Ballard said. The woman was between 25 and 33 years old and 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches tall.
A clay reconstruction of the woman’s face, created at the F.A.C.E.S. lab, is on the billboard at I-10 and College, Ballard said.
The reconstruction will soon be broadcast on other billboards in and around Baton Rouge.
People who recognize the woman can contact Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867 or (800) 723-7867, Ballard said. The organization is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of the person responsible for her death.
Additional cases will be featured throughout the year in the media and on billboards across the state, said Mary Manhein, director of the F.A.C.E.S. lab.
“We are very excited about our new partnership with Crime Stoppers and believe they can help us to solve many of our cold cases, but the public can also help,” Manhein said.
Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers Executive Director Sid Newman said his organization has had a lot of success with the digital billboards in the past.
“They are powerful,” Newman said. “We’re hoping they can jog someone’s memory.”
Although an exact number of unidentified remains and missing people statewide is unknown, Manhein has said, it is definitely in the hundreds.http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/police/40463787.html