ST. LOUIS (KSDK) -- Against the cold February Wind in 1983, a little girl nobody knew, with no family to come pray for, was buried in a wooden box in Washington Park Cemetery in St. Louis.
"The news media and the police department filled that void," said detective Dan Fox. "There has been no family to talk to, because we don't know who she is."
Detectives named her Hope. They found her headless body.
"We never did find the head," said detective Joe Burgoon.
She was found in an empty building on Clemmons Avenue in north St. Louis, wearing a sweater and a pair of jeans. She had nail polish on.
"We don't believe she was officially reported missing," said Fox.
Fox says investigators tried everything they could to find Hope's family. They took Hope's DNA before they buried her. Time and neglect pushed Hope's body under the cemetery earth. Officers lost track of where she was buried.
Washington University researchers used high tech equipment a few months ago to help officers find Hope's body. Volunteers helped exhume her.
"After 30 years, it was pretty much to the point we were dealing with bones," Fox said.
Tests show Hope may have lived in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee or the Carolinas. Fox hopes somebody in those states will see this story.
"Maybe (this will) give us the key we've been missing," he said.
It's his last Hope - before he and his investigators bury Hope one more time in a new cemetery.