Investigators ask for public’s help identifying toddler found dead in duffel bag

SAN DIEGO - Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the skeletal remains of a boy found near a Rancho Bernardo park in 2004.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has teamed up with San Diego Police Department in the effort to identify the deceased child.

On May 4, 2004, skeletal remains of a small boy were discovered by two hikers on a trail near the park and Interstate 15.

The hikers noticed a green padded winter-type coat lying over a green and white duffle bag, according to SDPD. When they removed the coat and looked in the bag, they saw a human skull and bones. Red warm-up pants, gray-tan socks, a blue vest and two sweatshirts were also in the bag.

Forensic Isotope Analysis determined the boy was likely between 2.5 and 3.5 years of age at the time of his death and he had been deceased for at least one year before he was found.

The same analysis revealed the child’s mother likely spent time in the southeast while pregnant, may have lived in Texas shortly after the child was born, then moved to Southern California.

NCMEC completed a facial reconstruction which shows what the child may have looked like.

Anyone with information should contact SDPD, reference case number 04-029569.

The group’s forensic team is currently assisting law enforcement with over 700 cases of unidentified deceased children.

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