Artist renderings of Jane Doe whose decapitated head was found on December 12, 2014 in Western Pennsylvania is shown during a news conference in Economy, Pennsylvania December 14, 2015. Reuters/Elizabeth Daley
Investigators said on Monday that red balls had been placed in the eye sockets of a woman’s embalmed head found a year ago in a case that may be linked to a growing black market for body parts.
Economy Borough Police Chief Michael O’Brien at a news conference appealed to the public for help identifying the woman, whose head was discovered in the woods by a child walking home in the rural town about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Pittsburgh on Dec. 12, 2014.
Despite nearly 30 leads from the public following publication of artist renderings and a bust of the woman’s head, she remains unidentified, police said. She was described as Caucasian and about age 50.
Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said an investigation is under way and it encompasses a range of possibilities.
“There’s a black market on body parts and that market is pretty extensive,” Berosh said.
O’Brien said the head was found too far off rural Mason Road to have ended up there accidentally and animals moving the head had been ruled out because the embalming fluid would have made it unappealing.
“It didn’t roll off a truck. It just didn’t happen that way,” Berosh said.
Holding up a toy red rubber ball that was similar to…