Hellbeasts

… a blog of crime and injustice …

cleo On June - 26 - 2013

Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee

As I mentioned in a previous article, my new hobby is to digitally put faces to skulls. I particularly wanted to put faces to unidentified victims, but it so happens that it’s not very easy to find photos of the naked skulls. Most victims’ skulls that I find are shown encased in clay after forensic artists have made an effort to create their versions of the faces. Sadly, far too many of these appear to me to have little resemblance to believable or recognizable humans.

And so it was I came upon the story of “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee”, a Jane Doe whose body was discovered on February 19, 1971 in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida. In an effort to resurrect this very cold case, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detective Darren Norris enlisted the services of forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle to develop a new likeness of the murdered girl (see above).

And I was so giddy — the Bend Bulletin article I found included both the new portrait of the victim AND a picture of a skull. With my amateur eye at work, I could see little likeness between the two images. And being a pompous know-it-all I undertook to create my version of the face to match the skull.

Here it is.

Cleo's version

The article had detailed how the girl was determined to have come from Greece so I made her as Greek-looking as I could.

And then my pomposity took a nose-dive when I reread the article and saw that nowhere did it actually say the image of the skull was the image of THE skull.

Aaaargghhh! So I have no idea whose skull it was that I was working on.

But I have decided that since this poor murdered woman needs to be identified — the autopsy showed she’d had at least one child who had to grow up without Mommy — I am still going to post the article, albeit with much more humility this time.

On February 19, 1971, hitchhikers found the body in Lake Panasoffkee, north of Bushnell. It was about a one-and-a-half hour drive to Tampa.

The poor woman had been strangled and dumped in the water at least a month before she was discovered. The killer left a man’s belt wrapped around her neck.

The coroner determined that the victim was a young woman — between 17 and 24, and around 5’2″. She was only about 100 to 115 pounds, and had dark hair, brown eyes, a strong nose and prominent cheekbones.

At some point the victim had had surgery performed on her ankle. She also had a pile of dental work including crowns, caps and fillings.

Jane Doe clothesThe body was dressed in green plaid pants, a green shirt, and a green flowery poncho — very stylish, I’m sure, for the 70′s.

The woman was wearing a 17-jewel Baylor watch, a gold ring with a clear stone and a thin, gold chain.

Recent forensic work by scientists at USF and the University of Florida has determined that the young woman probably came from Greece, most likely around Lavrion, a small fishing port south and east of Athens. Fascinating how these scientific types can come up with that! Apparently they learned all that from her tooth enamel. Kudos to the geochemists and anthropologists of the world!

The scientists also determined that the victim was a recent arrival in the United States.

This poor woman has been unclaimed and unidentified since 1971. Somewhere out there are her family and her children. They have been without their loved one for over 4 decades now, and hopefully somebody out there has an idea who she is. “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee” deserves to be returned home and reunited with her family.

Somebody out there also might have an idea who the evil bastard is who killed her. Now would be a good time to come forward and volunteer any leads.

Anyone with information may call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 888-231-2168.

UPDATE

Thanks to the research of Annoula, I got my hands on a very poor image of THE skull, but at least it was the correct skull. And so here is my rendition of the missing woman’s face:

Little Miss P

Thanks so much, Annoula, for finding the video source for me.

My Fox Tampa Bay article
Daily Mail article
Bend Bulletin article

Categories: Murder, New Articles

30 Responses

  1. awesomeblossom says:

    too bad cleo you didn’t have the right skull picture. you did a good job rendering that face. if the victim came from a small place in Greece shouldn’t it be easy for them to track her down now?

  2. 2cute says:

    Anyone know why police artists’ portraits are black and white? They look a whole lot less lifelike that way. Good job cleo.

  3. Bengalpuss says:

    How sad, poor girl having to die like that. Man theres some beastly bastards out there. Cleo well done, your impression looks really good. Lets hope she is identified, and her family can lay her to rest, and the beast that murdered this woman can pay for his heinous act.

  4. pj says:

    Cleo I like the face you made. Too bad it’s not the right face for the victim. Maybe the woman came to the US to stay and her killer was the person she was staying with. But she wouldn’t have left her child or children behind, would she. Somebody in Greece has to know she’s missing. You’d think the ankle surgery would be a big clue too to her real identity because not everyone has that done.

  5. bulldoggy says:

    Too bad that science wasn’t as advanced back in the 70s. If investigators had known back then she was from Greece they could have contacted authorities there.

    I don’t think the girl was killed for money. They let her keep her watch and that ring, but then again those might not have been worth much. I really hope she wasn’t raped. Being murdered is bad enough. Poor girl.

    • Bengalpuss says:

      Chances are bulldoggy, that it was a sex crime. Poor girl, someone somewhere is wondering where their family member is, and what has happened to them. I hope that the remains are identified one day, and the victims family are able to lay to rest their loved one.

      • cleo says:

        I am so excited — today we shall reach 100,000 unique visitors! Not bad for 1 year and 7 months! (I didn’t keep track for the first couple of months.) Thank you everyone who visits my site! And special thanks to my regular readers and commenters!

        • cleo says:

          We are 40 short of our 100,000 mark! I feel like celebrating. And half of those new visitors become return visitors so that is awesome!

          • cleo says:

            OK I am officially celebrating since we are now over 100,000 unique visitors. Now let’s get to 200,000.

          • Bengalpuss says:

            Well done cleo, im sure that you’ll reach the 200-000 mark very soon. I love the way you write, and enjoy visiting your site, which im sure is obvious lol.

  6. moodymagic says:

    Great Job on the face Cleo. I find it sad that they say she came from a small fishing community in Greece and they can’t find an identity with her dna. So sad.

  7. Lillith says:

    Poor girl… she was probably just hitch hiking, picked up a ride from the wrong person & ended up raped, murdered & dumped. Another senseless crime.

  8. MSM says:

    Okay Cleo, you might be onto something important here. That area is less than an hour from Tarpon Springs in good traffic. For those that don’t know, Tarpon Springs has the largest amount of Greek-Americans in the country. The Greeks took over the sponge diving operations there in the late 19th Century and have built quite the little empire. I wonder if this girl came from a family somewhere within that community? If I were you, I’d send what you’ve done to the reporter who wrote the story – show them what you did and tell them to start digging because if they never considered the Greek angle they’ve been barking up the wrong tree for a very long time. If you can’t get the author of the article to answer you back let me know, I can get you in touch with somebody at the Tampa Tribune.

  9. Annoula says:

    Actually they already did the Greek angle. Being that she was found approx 3 weeks after Tarpon Springs had their annual Epiphany celebration, the detective on the case, resubmitted flyers with the new composite photo to everyone in that area and to people who go to St. Nicholas, the church there. A show in Greece “Fos Sto Tounel” (Light at the End of the Tunnel) actually covered the case a few months back in which I translated to everyone in several forums and on Little Miss P’s FB page that everyone in Athens was shocked to find out that she was not identified for 41 years. When they showed the composite photo, someone called in and said that the photo resembled a former classmate of theirs, Konstantina, who had a brother named Stelio whom served in the Hellenic Navy in Lavrio. Konstantina was shipped to the US, and she was shipped to Australia. They went to school at DEME which is a school where you learn some sort of trade and then you get placed outside of Greece for 2 years and then have the option to return home or not. However, nothing has really been updated since the two episodes they had about Little Miss P. I think they were trying to track down this “Konstantina” and see if this could be the girl in the photo. I have a photo of Konstantina but she doesn’t resemble your photo, however your photo does look very Greek looking Cleo.

    • cleo says:

      Thanks so much for the additional information, Annoula. It would be great if it turned out that Konstantina was the missing girl. I am not surprised if she does not look like my effort because apparently I had the wrong skull to work on. Does she resemble the long faced girl in the police sketch?

  10. Annoula says:

    When the Greek broadcast originally aired in December, I took the composite photo and the photo of Konstantina and put it side by side. You can view it here: http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6053/8fsq.jpg

    Also, there was a jewelry store in Athens that sold Baylor watches during that time.

    • 2cute says:

      The chin is totally wrong. I don’t think they look alike at all.

      • Bengalpuss says:

        Yes but 2cute, its rare that they get the likeness bang on, they are working from a skull, so the two pictures side by side are pretty similar. These forensic artists are very clever, and one of the best ones is frank bender, he did the clay bust of john list, age progressed 20yrs, and it was shown on america’s most wanted. List killed his entire family and disappeared, when the clay bust was shown on tv, list was arrested 2 days later. That was one of the rare times when they get a perfect likeness, but bender had a photo of list to work from, working on a skull is difficult to get a likeness, but those two pictures are quite similar imo.

    • cleo says:

      Thank you Annoula. The video link you sent me enabled me to create a new image using the correct skull! That was extremely helpful!

      • 2cute says:

        Good job on the face! That is awesome that Annoula found the real skull for you. I sure hope somebody claims the poor girl. I guess it would be a miracle if the killer was caught after all this time, may he rot in hell.

  11. Annoula says:

    You’re welcome guys! I have been following this case since last summer and being that I am Greek, it feels to hit home with me. I’d love for someone to claim her. As much as I wanted her to be Konstantina, it may not be her after all. Greeks are very much known to have distinctive cheekbones, the nose, and the jaw… being that her jaw is extremely defined and in that screen shot of Konstantina isn’t.. it’s probably not her. But in this new photo that Cleo constructed, she does appear to look older and I think she was at least 21 before she came to the US. The only way to have gone to the US is if they had an “invitation” from a relative or someone they knew…kind of like a lottery. Her parents could have sent her to the states for a “better life” and then after being there for some months, met with foul play. There are other Greek churches around that area, so when most people kept saying Tarpon Springs as the DUH moment, i don’t think we should discount the other churches too.

    • 2cute says:

      Annoula, if she’d been sent to the States for a better life, do you think her parents would have kept her child back in Greece? I’m wondering if she brought her baby or young child with her and it was raised as someone else’s in the Greek community.

      • Annoula says:

        it is possible especially if her child was really young. she could have gone to the states for college… i am just trying to figure out how she got to Florida because there are no direct flights to Florida from Athens. She would have gone to NYC and then taken another flight to Florida. She must have had relatives in Florida.

  12. Annoula says:

    So i spoke with my mother earlier this evening and she told me that people didn’t fly over to the US from Greece until the mid-70s so she probably came over to NY via ship. Any word from Sumter Cleo?

  13. Jamie says:

    I thought your first rendition was great, especially in comparison to the black & white composite. (Yours seemed much more realistic) After you mentioned the description of the woman’s nose I imagined it looking something in between the original composite and your own– Which you seemed to accomplish with your 2nd go at it! Well done :)

    You’ve got me wanting to do some research of my own of people from that area and time period.

    You’re amazing for being so willing to dedicate your time like you have.

  14. Jamie says:

    It’s too bad they haven’t been able to make more of an identification using her jewelry

Leave a Reply

Search the Site