• Authorities have identified the person as 58-year-old Sally Ann Hines of San Antonio
  • The LSU FACES Lab produced an image using facial reconstruction in 2019
  • Last week, officers got a tip regarding a woman who went missing in 2017

A severed human head found three years ago in Louisiana has finally been identified as a Texas woman who went missing in Dec. 2017.

The head was located by the Cameron Sheriff’s Office litter abatement team on March 1, 2018, along La. 27 in Cameron Parish, reports KATC.

A trash pick-up crew working along the highway spotted the plastic bag, which contained the decapitated head.

The LSU FACES Laboratory produced an image of the woman using facial reconstruction in 2019, hoping to find the identity of the person.

The Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office, which released the image, had then noted that the woman must have died around six weeks before the discovery.

They determined the person to be white or Hispanic and between 30 to 50 years old with medium-length brown hair.

Chief Investigator Charlie Hunter had said they were hoping to circulate that picture to as many people as they can.

However, a breakthrough in the case happened last week. Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson said detective Tammy Gaspard received a tip from a private citizen on May 20, 2021, about a missing person who looked like the computer-produced picture of the head, reports WAVE 3 News.

Further probe revealed the woman was 58-year-old Sally Ann Hines of San Antonio, who was reported missing on Dec. 14, 2017. The identification was confirmed Wednesday through dental records and the victim's next of kin have been notified.

Johnson thanked the Cameron Parish Coroner Dr. Kevin Dupke, Calcasieu Parish Coroners Office Dr. Terry Welke, investigator Charlie Hunter, the staff, Cameron Parish detectives and the private citizen who provided the anonymous tip for helping identify the person.

"Sally Hines would not have been identified if it wasn’t for this effort," he said.

In a similar case reported two weeks ago, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office had positively identified the human remains found in Montana nearly 36 years ago as Janet Lee Lucas from Washington.

The Sheriff's office said in a Facebook post that her death remained a mystery until an advanced DNA analysis enabled them to initiate a forensic genetic genealogy investigation, which finally linked the skeleton to Lucas' family and then to the missing woman.

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Representational image MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images