Investigators hope new images will lead to break in 2 Orange County cold cases

Orange County News

Investigators in Orange County hope new images will lead to a break in two cold cases. The case revolves around a young boy’s remains found in Mebane in 1988, and a young woman’s remains found in Hillsborough in 1990.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently released new images of what each of them may have looked like. 

Major Tim Horne, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, has spent nearly 20 years trying to learn more about the boy whose skeletal remains were found in 1998 near Interstate 85 in Orange County.


Investigators said someone killed him, but before they can figure out who, they have to figure out who the boy was. Over the years, they had sketches and models made.

As technology has improved, so have the images. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children just released the new images, which are much more detailed and, investigators believe, more accurate. 

“The forensic artist used a C-T scan of the child’s skull,” explained Carol Schweitzer with NCMEC.  “They’re a combination of science and art. It may not be an exact portrait image of what these children look like, but it [is] supposed to provide the public enough information that it would spark recognition in somebody.”

“We’re fighting time at this point because people’s memories fade, and what they can recall, all these things are lessened just with time,” Horne said.

However, he believes there’s still time for someone to recognize something from these new images — remember a boy they knew, they saw, or they loved 20 years ago.

“Someone has the piece of the puzzle that we need to solve this case. It’s just a matter of getting the right word into the right ear at the right moment,” Horne said.

NCMEC also recently released an image of a young woman whose body was found along I-40 in Hillsborough in 1990. 

Investigators are asking the public to not only look closely at the images, but also to share them with friends and family around the country. 

Horne said the boy likely lived in Northern Alabama or Georgia and was 10-11 years old of Hispanic descent.

If you have any information about either case or think you may recognize someone, call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at (919) 245-2900 or NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

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