In February 1982, a Sierra Pacific Power Company worker noticed a double-bagged black garbage bag floating in the Truckee River at the Flash Dam. Upon inspection, the worker opened the bag and discovered an unresponsive White female infant. The decedent was found wrapped in a pink/red towel and was declared dead at the scene by law enforcement investigators. Days later, an autopsy was performed by the Washoe County Coroner’s Office which revealed that the infant was less than a year old, weighed four pounds, had brown hair, and was measured as 16 inches in height. The autopsy also led investigators to conclude that the infant had been dead for one week prior to the discovery of her remains. Investigators were unable to make a definitive determination about the baby’s eye color.
Since the discovery of the infant’s remains, law enforcement investigators have diligently pursued all leads about her identity. Washoe County Coroner’s Office examined tissue block samples from the infant and preserved them for evidentiary purposes. In July 2010, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as case number #UP7400. Despite the exhaustive efforts of law enforcement, the infant’s identity has remained a mystery. With few leads for investigators to pursue, the case eventually went cold.
In 2022, the Sierra County Sheriff's Office partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the infant or a close relative. The investigation continues as Othram begins to build a comprehensive genealogical profile. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Sierra County Sheriff's Office by calling 530-289-3700 and referencing agency case 2-820257-L.
A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.