'Jane Gary Doe' images released in Gary cold case

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The beaten, strangled and burned body of a woman found in a Gary, Ind., garage seven years ago has yet to be identified. (WLS)

The beaten, strangled and burned body of a woman found in a Gary, Ind., garage seven years ago has yet to be identified.

On Thursday, the Lake County, Indiana, Coroner's Office released new forensic artwork it hopes will help solve the mystery of who the woman known as "Jane Gary Doe" is.

She was 5'4" with a petite build and wore her hair in cornrows. Jane Gary Doe was in her teens or early 20s when she was killed. For a time, her body was kept at the Lake County Morgue, but has since been buried.

"There's somebody out there looking for a loved one, a young woman approximately 16 to 20 years of age, and I hope to have closure for that family," Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said.

In renewing the effort to identify Jane Gary Doe, the coroner's office sent autopsy pictures to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia.

"We try to pick out the best photographs that would give us an idea or indication as to the facial features," Stephen Loftin, forensic imaging artist, said.

The gruesome autopsy photos showed a badly disfigured face- beaten and burned. Starting with a sketch, Loftin used Photoshop to layer a likeness.

"I righted the face as best I could and I started adding facial features," he said. Next came the fine points- eyebrows and forehead scarring unrelated to the attack that led to her death.

"I put the final image in the best perspective I thought would be best for viewing," Loftin said.

The coroner's office already has Jane Gary Doe's DNA and dental records. Now they're hoping the work by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children may lead them to a name.

"They're very good at what they do, and hopefully with this description we have , someone will look at this picture and say hey, this is my loved one," Chief George Deliopoulos, Lake County Coroner's Office, said.

Other law enforcement agencies have inquired about the case, some of which have possibilities. However, officials said there's nothing firm yet.

When Lake County Coroner Frey took office a couple of years ago, clearing up cases involving unidentified bodies became a priority. There were five unidentified bodies then and Jane Gary Does is the last.

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