San Diego

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Aims to Identify Remains of Tot Found in San Diego in 2004

Nearly a decade ago, the remains of a little boy were found in a wooded area near a hiking trail in San Diego. Today, a national agency is still seeking answers, mainly, who was that child?

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released digitally-produced sketches Tuesday of a young boy whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near a hiking trail southeast of Rancho Bernardo Community Park on May 4, 2004.

On that day, two hikers noticed a green padded winter coat lying over a white and green duffel bag. When they removed the coat, the pair found a human skull and bones in the bag, according to the center.

The boy was believed to be between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years old when he died. NCMEC said he appeared to have been dead for at least a year when he was found.

Two sweatshirts, a blue vest, red warm-up pants, and grey-tan socks were also found in the duffel bag.

According to a forensics practice known as Isotope Analysis, the boy’s mother may have spent time in the southeastern part of the U.S. while pregnant. Shortly after he was born, she may have lived in Texas before moving to Southern California.

NCMEC created a facial reconstruction to show what the young boy may have looked like in hopes of tracking down leads that could help identify who he was.

The center is working alongside the San Diego Police Department on this case. NCMEC's forensics team is currently working on more than 700 cases of unidentified, deceased children.

Anyone with information is asked to call NCMEC at (800) 843-5678 or SDPD at (619) 531-2293.

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