Cop begs for help to ID girl stuffed in boxStory Highlights
Fisherman discovered plastic box containing girl’s body on Monday
A self described “cynical old cop” gently held a tiny shoe decorated with purple flowers as he begged for help in identifying a dead child Galveston police have dubbed “Baby Grace.”
Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo holds a shoe just like one “Baby Grace” was wearing when her body was found.
“She is more to us than just a case number, more to us than just an unidentified body. She is very much a human being,” Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told CNN Friday.
The child’s body, stuffed in a large plastic storage box, washed ashore this week on an uninhabited island in the Intracoastal Waterway.
“She is someone’s child, someone’s grandchild, someone’s cousin, someone’s best friend, and to us, that is the most important part about this case,” Tuttoilmondo said.
“We have adopted the name of Baby Grace because, there again, that is part of the emotional part of this case for us,” he said, holding the sneaker identical to one of those the child was wearing when she was found Monday. Watch why the Baby Grace case is so emotional for police »
A fisherman became “very upset” after discovering the girl’s body, in a large blue Sterilite plastic container, on an uninhabited island in Galveston’s West Bay, Tuttoilmondo said.
A fishing tournament with hundreds of contestants was held over the weekend in the area where the girl’s body was found. Police said they hope to track down contestants who may have seen something. Some of them may have fished near the site of the discovery.
“If we can get to every single person, that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Tuttoilmondo said.
Contact Sheriff’s Office
To offer tips, contact the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office at
866-248-8477. The Galveston County medical examiner has said the child suffered skull fractures, but that he found no other broken bones.
“Anything relating to chronic abuse, old injuries, things like that, those are parts of the investigation that we still need to look at,” Tuttoilmondo said.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the medical examiner said the girl had been dead for at least two weeks when her body was found.
A police sketch artist met with the medical examiner Thursday to develop a picture of what the girl looked like, the newspaper reported.
Police said the child was between 2 and 5 years old and had long, wavy blond hair, the Chronicle reported. She was wearing a red or pink shirt and a matching skirt, along with white and purple-flowered running shoes, the paper said.
Houston Chronicle: Police get word out about ‘Baby Grace’
“I don’t often make an appeal of emotion, choosing to stick with the facts of the case as we should,” Tuttoilmondo wrote in an e-mail to local reporters. “However, a case such as this draws out emotions in all that touch it, even us cynical old cops. I ask that you buck the system and include the emotions you, like me, are experiencing in looking at this case, as a parent, a child, one who has children as part of your life or just as a human being.”
Police have received hundreds of calls on the case, he told CNN. “A number of them we followed up on have led us to go check on other children. Fortunately, we found all of them safe and sound, but nothing that’s absolutely made a home run hit yet.”
Other callers have wanted to know how they can help. Some have offered to donate graveyard plots for the child and have volunteered to help sift through information.
“The community where we are is a very close-knit, solid community, and they’re all more than willing to help,” Tuttoilmondo said.
Thank you CNN News
Poor little darling…how can anyone beat a child, to that extend, to fracture the skull, more than once. MONSTERS!
Texas has the death penatly…even thought all dealth penaltys are on hold right now…this could clearly be a case where it is needed.
~The Baby Boomer Queen~