Thursday, August 11, 2022
Home Covid-19 Slain girl ‘Little Miss Nobody’ identified 62 years later with DNA

Slain girl ‘Little Miss Nobody’ identified 62 years later with DNA

“Little Miss Nobody” finally has a name.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s office said Tuesday the previously unidentified little girl whose burned remains were found over 60 years ago in the Arizona desert was 4-year-old Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico.

The child’s remains were found on July 31, 1960, partially buried in a wash in Congress, Arizona. Her age at various times over the years was estimated to be between 6 and 8 years old, then later at between 3 and 6 years old.

Read more:

Kid keeps his cool after running head-first into sloth on zipline in Costa Rica

Residents in the nearby central-north Arizona community of Prescott raised money for a funeral and florists, and a mortuary donated its services for the little girl they had dubbed “Little Miss Nobody.”

Story continues below advertisement

Her original grave marker read: “Little Miss Nobody. Blessed are the Pure in Heart … St. Matthew 5:8.”

News reports at the time said a local radio announcer and his wife stood in for the girl’s parents during the funeral at Prescott’s Congregational Church.

“I guess I just couldn’t stand to see a little child buried in boot hill,” KYCA announcer Dave Paladin was quoted as saying in an Aug. 11, 1960 article by The Associated Press.

Sharon Lee Gallegos was reportedly abducted from the yard of her grandmother’s home in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 21, 1960, a little over a week before her body was found. Authorities say they do not know who took and killed the child, and the case is still under investigation.

Story continues below advertisement

The Alamogordo Police Department and the FBI searched for the little girl but were unable to find her or the suspects believed to be in a dark green 1951 or 1952 Plymouth.

Read more:

Carats and ranch: Hidden Valley auctions diamond ring made from salad dressing

Authorities’ initial thoughts about the age of the victim found in the desert, the clothing she was wearing and a footprint at the scene caused them to rule out the possibility that the dead girl was the missing 4-year-old from New Mexico.

The Yavapai County case went cold until 2015, when the remains were exhumed to get DNA samples. The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and others worked on the case.

The sheriff’s office and Texas DNA company Othram raised $4,000 earlier this year to pay for specialized testing that finally identified the girl.

Story continues below advertisement

Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes said he was glad investigators “did not let go until the unfortunate moniker of ‘Little Miss Nobody’ could be removed from the headstone that sits in a cemetery here in Prescott.”

The girl’s parents have since died, but her nephew Ray Chavez was at the news conference to thank authorities for not giving up their quest to identify his aunt. There was no other mention of any other surviving relatives.


Ray Chavez, the nephew of a little girl dubbed “Little Miss Nobody” who was recently identified, speaks during a news conference in Prescott, Ariz., Tuesday, March 15, 2022.


Doug Cook / The Daily Courier via AP

Chavez said his aunt had always been described to him as a happy-go-lucky girl.

“We were amazed how the people rallied around her,” Chavez said. “Thank you for keeping my aunt safe and never forgetting her.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Most Popular

‘Too close to home’: Man shot and killed in Surrey taxi was known to police

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has identified the victim of the latest shooting in Surrey where a taxi driver was also hit. David Chavez-Jara, 30,...

Alberta fishing community mourns death of passionate angler

The fishing community in southern Alberta is mourning the loss of avid fisherman and vlogger, Rajesh John. “He always was just amazed by every fish,...

Saskatchewan NDP calls for removal of PST for restaurants, children’s clothing

The Saskatchewan NDP are once again urging the provincial government to look at the cost of living for residents in the province. “It’s been nearly...

Hamilton woman arrested, facing charge in armed robbery at Grimsby gas station

Niagara police say one of four suspects connected with an armed robbery at a Grimsby, Ont. gas station, in which an employee was shot...