This is the face of a young boy whose body washed ashore in Galveston, Texas three months ago.
Authorities made the extraordinary decision to release a picture of the dead body on Tuesday, after failing to identify the boy after months of following up on hundreds of tips.
The image was edited slightly to cover signs of decomposition and make him easier to identify.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE
Texas authorities released a photo of a dead boy’s body on Tuesday, in hopes of identifying him
When the body of the boy – dubbed ‘Little Jacob’ – washed up on October 20, police released a sketch of his face but no one came forward to claim the body.
Little Jacob didn’t match the description of any of the children missing locally or across the country.
They also took his fingerprints and DNA – none of which showed up in national databases. But children the boy’s age typically don’t have their prints or DNA in these databases anyway.
‘We’re not releasing this photo lightly. It’s really being done, at this point, as a last option,’ police Capt. Joshua Schirard said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The boy – dubbed ‘Little Jacob’ – washed ashore on October 20 and police have failed to identify him
Police first released this sketch of the boy, but it didn’t turn up any viable leads
Det. Jeff Banks told the Houston Chronicle that his hope is that someone saw the sketch and might have recognized the boy, but was not sure enough to come forward.
‘We really have no other options,’ Banks said. ‘The most important thing is we get him identified. I hate to release that photo. It’s terrible. But I think at the end of the day the objective of identifying him outweighs it.’
Authorities are still unsure how the boy died as well, since an autopsy showed he didn’t drown.
Investigators believe the boy had died two to three days before his body was found in the waters just west of Stewart Beach.
Based on the tides, authorities believe that the boy was placed in the water locally about 12 to 48 hours before his body was found, east of where his body was found.
His body showed signs of abuse and neglect, but a corner said that none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.
Det. Jeff Banks (pictured Tuesday) told the Houston Chronicle that his hope is that someone saw the sketch and might have recognized the boy, but was not sure enough to come forward
‘Someone has seen him, that child deserves to be identified and be properly laid to rest, but for this to happen, input from the public is absolutely crucial,’ Galveston Police Capt. Joshua Schirard said
There were signs he was malnourished as well, since he weighed just 26 to 30 pounds – about half the healthy weight of a child his age.
Authorities are investigating his death as a homicide.
‘Someone has seen him, that child deserves to be identified and be properly laid to rest, but for this to happen, input from the public is absolutely crucial,’ Schirard said.
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the boy’s identity and Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward.
Anyone with information on the boy is being asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or 1-800-225-5324.