Can we identify this little girl?
If you've been reading the news, you'll know that South Australian police are desperately trying to identify the remains of a little girl found tucked in a suitcase by the side of the road near Wynarka.
They know she was little, probably blonde, and aged somewhere between two and four years old when she died.
Earlier today, they released this image of a blanket that was found near the suitcase where she was found:
You can read the ABC's report about the discovery of that blanket here but essentially, police think that the little girl may have been wrapped in this blanket when she was dumped, and it's very distinctive, which got me thinking: would Google recognise it?
Okay, so I took the musical notes picture and made a screen shot of it, here:
Then I put that image into Google Image search (where you upload the image) and it seems like this is not a hugely popular or well-known print.
The results suggest that it was made by a fabric company called Shamash and Sons.
It's apparently called JAZZ and it's described in the few references to it online as 'musical notes in bright rainbow colors scattered on a black background.'
It's also described as 'quality' and at one point was being sold as 'the last cut of this retired print.'
I looked around to find an Australian supplier but the Google image search suggests that the material was made into cummerbunds that were rented out for weddings:
But again, these seem to be mostly in the US. I haven't yet found an Australian store that hires them out, or sells them.
That said, the same cummerbund can be purchased on Amazon:
Maybe there's a reader out there who can remember somebody wearing a cummerbund like this one? To a wedding? A clown? Somebody in a band? Maybe they threw it away, or gave it to a charity shop? Maybe it got cut up by somebody who turned it into this blanket, which was then sold at a weekend market?
It seems like the police would welcome any leads.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray told the ABC the quilt 'appeared to be homemade but had machine stitching.'
It was badly degraded, but the fabric still intact showed 'a wide border of black material illustrated with musical notes, a pumpkin patch, a camel and dragonflies'
Mr Bray said:
'It has been suggested this is a so-called I-Spy quilt, which is especially constructed to allow a parent to play I-Spy with the child using the images stitched into the blanket," he said."Someone loved that little girl and either made her, or gave her, that quilt. I would appeal for whoever loved her to get in touch with us.'
UPDATE: journalist Holly Byrnes (@byrnesh) says she recognizes the little tutu that was found with the remains as the same as one she purchased from a local store - Cotton On - for her little niece five years ago this December:
That's important information because police are saying the little girl may have been killed as far back as seven years ago, which fits Holly's timeline for purchasing a tutu like this one; and because Cotton On is a local company.
Maybe police can ask Cotton On (or Cotton On Kids) how many they sold? If there's a barcode or item number on the dress - and there surely is - maybe they can match it to any credit card details that were supplied at the time?
Maybe a charity shop re-sold it to somebody? Thank you Holly! That's a great lead.
For the record, I tried the same process with the pumpkin patch image, but Google doesn't recognize it, maybe be because it's so badly eroded:
Also for the record, police don't want anyone jumping to any conclusions. The dress and the blanket were found near the remains; they may still have nothing to do with the case.
First rule of journalism: never assume.
SECOND UPDATE: Twitter user @KJinSG says her daughter had the same pink slippers with the butterfly on the front, and that they were purchased from KMart in Victoria about seven years ago, which also fits with the timeline (police are saying the little girl may have been killed as far back as 2007.)
That said, anyone with information should call Crimestoppers: 1 800 333 000.