A man in the medical examiner's office pushed back the cheeks on Baby Grace's corpse to put a smile on her tiny, decaying face. That's how forensic artist Lois Gibson captured the open-mouthed grin with spangled risotto-sized teeth. It was one of the girl's few features that had survived six weeks in a shed during a Texas summer and nearly two months in Galveston Bay.
But it was the way the blond toddler looked outside of the black body bag that made Gibson draw large, lid-filling eyes on the picture of the girl that led to identifying Riley Ann Sawyers.
"She was so very, very small. She looked like the size of a child that you would change the diaper on, just laying there on a metal gurney like a giant stainless steel cookie sheet," Gibson says just above a sad, disbelieving whisper before her voice shifts and she's strong and scientific. "If you are very, very small, then the iris, that colored part of your eye, takes up almost the entire eye opening." Read full article »