Authorities to test embalmed head found nearly a year ago

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2015 5:16 PM

ECONOMY, Pa. (AP) — Authorities are still looking for answers nearly a year after a woman's embalmed head was found in a wooded area in western Pennsylvania.

The head was found on Dec. 12, 2014 in Economy, about 16 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Authorities do not know the woman's identity or how she died. They also don't know where the rest of her body is or how her head ended up in the woods.

The woman's eyes were removed and replaced with red rubber balls. Beaver County Assistant Chief Detective Andrew Gall told the Beaver County Times (http://bit.ly/1N8OOah) on Sunday that the balls were toys manufactured in China. He said he bought a similar set from a toy machine.

Police Chief Michael O'Brien said that authorities do not believe she is from the area.

"She's on my mind 24 hours a day, just the fact that I'm not able to identify her. That's my priority, to find out who she is," he said. "There's nobody that deserves to be found that way. And she needs to be identified so she can have her name put to her face."

Authorities are testing to see if they can determine where she lived. Certain elements in hair and tooth enamel give information about what region people are from.

Beaver County Coroner Teri Tatalovich-Rossi said plans are in the works to bury her in a local cemetery. She said she expects there to be a graveside service and that everyone who has worked on the case would be invited.

"All of us have been tirelessly working to identify her," Tatalovich-Rossi said. "We felt it was proper to bury her in a dignified manner."

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Information from: Beaver County Times, http://www.timesonline.com/