BARSTOW Almost two years after a girl's head was found on Lenwood Road, police are still trying to find out who the girl was and why she was killed.

A man looking for cans on Feb. 9, 2010 on Lenwood Road west of Tortoise Road found a severed human head wrapped in plastic bags from Fiesta Foods and Walgreens and stuffed into a black backpack. The head is believed to belong to a girl, either white or Hispanic, about 14 to 19-years-old, said Barstow Police Detective Keith Libby.

No fingerprints or other evidence were found on the bags or backpack.

While the bags from Walgreens could be from almost anywhere since the stores are found nationwide, Libby said most Fiesta Foods markets are found in Southern California, with several in the San Bernardino County area.

Libby said he's been keeping a log on the case and periodically sends the information to the FBI through the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. He's received information on runaway teenagers or missing persons that are similar to the unknown girl, but none have matched.

Without information on the victim, Libby said it would be difficult to solve the case, although not impossible.

Libby said the case does not have ties to any other cases that he's aware of and he has no idea why the killer decapitated the victim, other than to possibly prevent her identification.

The coroner's office was unable to determine a cause of death when it conducted an autopsy.
The San Bernardino County Coroner's office has taken DNA samples as well as dental X-rays, which should help identify the girl, said Libby. Samples taken from the mother and father can be used to match a body based on familial DNA.

Libby said he thinks the girl was well-cared for, and a runaway or missing persons report for her has probably been filed somewhere. Missing persons reports don't always contain dental records or DNA reference samples, but Libby thinks there's a good chance that the girl has dental x-rays because she's had dental work.

"From the investigation and the condition of the head itself, she was loved and she is definitely missed," said Libby.

The girl had brown hair with red highlights, according to Libby. She also had pierced ears but no jewelry was found with her.

Anyone with information on the unknown girl is asked to call Barstow Police Detective Keith Libby at (760) 256-2211. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call We-Tip at (800) 782-7463 or leave a tip at www.wetip.com.

More information on the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/vicap.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com