Tampa, Florida - It's a photo that could unlock a mystery two decades in the making.
Pasco detectives are working with University of South Florida anthropology experts in a missing person's case that began with the discovery of bones.
On January 23rd, a man's skull, hip bones and leg bones were found by a hunter. They were discovered in the Hillsborough Reserve near State Road 54.
The newest break in the case is a computer-generated photograph created by Dr. Erin Kimmerle in the USF anthropology department. She built a man's face using his bones.
"I find it intriguing," Detective Jim Gariepy says. The Pasco County detective is looking forward to using this new photo in his investigation.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office began working with Dr. Kimmerle to create an identity for the man in the hopes that someone would recognize him.
Dr. Kimmerle tells us, "It's really about the living and those who are searching."
Although it's not an exact replica, the features are close enough that someone out there may just recognize the man.
It's news that Detective Gariepy is happy to hear. "There's so much more involved - the soil, the atmosphere - in the area over the past 20 years. It can be accumulated through data," Detective Gariepy told us. "I'm looking forward to getting a conclusion on this, finding out who this person is, and I think she [Dr. Kimmerle] can help us."
Dr. Kimmele believes the bones found in Pasco have been there for up to 20 years and that they are possibly those of a 40-year-old white man.
She told us, "It's not an exact likeness, not like a photograph of the person, but a likeness. Main features consistent enough that someone can recognize them."
Detectives do not believe that there was evidence of foul play. The man could have died from natural causes. They are asking that anyone out there who is looking for a relative or loved one that went missing nearly 20 years ago to come forward.
To visit the Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay website, click here.
Melanie Brooks, 10 Connects