Despite receiving dozens of tips, investigators still have not identified the body of a young girl found in a trash bag on a Deer Island beach, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said at a news conference Tuesday.
The district attorney’s office, Winthrop police, State Police, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children are continuing their investigation, and Conley used the news conference to make a renewed appeal for information.
“We ask the parents or caregivers of this young girl to please step forward and clear your conscience,” Conley said. “Step forward and make yourselves known.”
Investigators have a theory regarding whether the body of the girl — believed to be about 4 years old — washed ashore or was left on the beach, Conley said, but are withholding that information to compare with potential witness accounts.
The child’s body, discovered on June 25, showed “no obvious sign of trauma,” Conley said, and the medical examiner has not determined a cause of death.
“Her body was reasonably intact,” Conley said, explaining that her death appeared “recent.”
Added Conley: “It didn’t seem like it was on the beach for a long period of time. There was decomposition, but [the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children] had enough information to make a strong likeness.”
That likeness has generated a record-breaking 45.4 million views on the State Police Facebook page, far surpassing the 14 million views garnered in November 2014 by a video of a Brockton man stealing the cellphone of a woman struck by a subway train.
Conley praised the “social media explosion” for getting the child’s image to the public more efficiently than last century’s practice of printing images of missing children on milk cartons.
“We’ve received dozens, possibly hundreds of tips,” said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley. “Every actionable lead is taken very seriously by a full complement of experienced homicide investigators.”Rosa Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.