Forensic artist Kelly Lawson logged roughly 100 hours for a three-dimensional skull reconstruction of a man’s remains found three years ago that authorities hope will lead to an ID.
On July 21, 2015, workers contracted by the Buford sewer authority told Gwinnett County Police they found a skull while clearing brush between sewer covers between Satellite Boulevard and Buford Highway in Buford.
Lawson released a sketch in February 2017 and worked intermittently on finishing the skull reconstruction.
“Sometimes you’ll have belongings which can indicate the size of clothing, so you’ll know whether or not someone had weight on them or whether they were thin. He had no personal effects that were found at all, so that’s a challenge,” she said.
When making the reconstruction, Lawson said she had no other biological material apart from the bone to aid her work.
“There’s a lot of having to go off of your intuition. I try to tell people: don’t get caught up in the hair that you see. Don’t get caught up in whether or not he’s shaved. Those things I don’t know, and in his specifically, I went with the average size. I don’t know if he was a stocky guy or a skinny guy,” she said.
What is more certain is that he is believed to have been between 25 and 40 years old at the time of death and was between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall.
“The remains show multiple composite fillings and one root canal involving a tooth of the lower jaw. Exact information about hair color, hair length, and skin tone is unknown,” Cpl. Michele Pihera wrote in a news release.
The medical examiner has not determined a cause of death, and investigators found no “obvious signs of trauma or foul play” at the scene, Pihera said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwinnett County detectives at 770-513-5300.