Police release new info on embalmed head found near Pittsburgh

ECONOMY, Pa. (AP) – A western Pennsylvania police chief released new information Monday about a woman’s embalmed head found in the woods more than a year ago.

The head was found on Dec. 12, 2014 in Economy, about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Economy police, the Beaver County coroner and others have worked to identify the woman. They performed a burial service for the head Saturday at Beaver Cemetery.

According to a press release sent Monday, investigators have not identified the woman and have released a photo of how they believe she looked when she was younger.

When a passerby found the head in December, there were red rubber balls in place of the woman’s eyes and tan-colored eye caps, often used by funeral directors in place of eyes, covering those, according to the release. Representatives of the Funeral Directors Association and Medical Examiners Association stated that red rubber balls are usually not used in place of eyes in dead bodies.

Nearly 30 leads provided by the public did not help police identify the woman, nor has help from a number of prominent investigation agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, FBI and the Chinese Embassy, who helped identify the origins of the rubber balls. A forensics company used isotopes from her head to determine that three months before her death and at the time of her death, she was living somewhere in an area that encompasses central and eastern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.

Police are still waiting for the results of DNA testing from North Texas University.

O’Brien has said investigators don’t believe the woman was local. They’ve created a bust of the head and distributed pictures in hopes someone will recognize the woman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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