Stray dogs drag woman’s skull to Detroit alley, police search for answers

Had it not been for dogs dragging the woman’s skull into a Detroit alleyway, her body might have remained undiscovered for much longer than it already did.

Work crews spotted the skull while installing cables and called police on April 10.

State police cadaver dogs assisted Detroit police behind a vacant house at 14151 Ward in a blighted neighborhood. 

“At that block, there was not one occupied home,” Detroit Police Sgt. Shannon Jones of the Homicide Missing Person Unit said. “It’s vacant fields and some burned dwellings. 

Jones said police suspect foul play, but a cause of death hasn’t been revealed and it’s unclear whether the death occurred where the body was discovered.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office determined it was a black woman, likely between the ages of 21 and 29, who likely died in 2017, but possibly 2016, based on the decomposition. The woman was about 5-foot-4, but could have been three inches taller or shorter than that, Jones said. 

There was no ID or other physical evidence, except a pair of size 32 True Religion blue jeans and size 8 leather tennis shoes with a Polo emblem.

Dental impressions and DNA have been collected and analyzed.

“If you have a Hispanic family member, a white, Asian, anything, submit it, because I don’t stop because they said one thing,” Jones said. “I’m going to rule anybody missing in that area that fits that time frame, or that size or the clothing.”

Jones is asking anyone aware of someone who disappeared from the Detroit area to report the person to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Homicide Unit, 313-596-2260; or CrimeStoppers 800-SPEAK-UP.

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