Forensic artist sheds light on Gilgo Beach victim sketches

YAPHANK - If the victims found dumped along Ocean Parkway are ever going to be identified, forensic artist Danielle Gruttadurio is likely going to play a major part in it.Gruttadurio, who works at the Suffolk County Police Department, is one of only 12 full-time forensic artists in the entire country, and she was the one who created the new composite sketches of two of the victims that were released yesterday.One of the sketches is that of a Caucasian woman between the ages of 18 and 35, and the other is that of an Asian man between the ages of 17 and 23. The skulls of the victims were found along Ocean Parkway in April.Before she puts her pencil to paper, Gruttadurio says information from many experts helps her determine the sex, age and ethnicity of the skulls.Gluing vinyl erasers she calls "tissue depth markers" on the skulls, Gruttadurio creates a guide for how the faces might have been shaped. Then, a photo of the skull is taken and she places a tracing paper over it. The next step is adding details to the face, such as a nose and hair. However, Gruttadurio says some details cannot be filled in, such as freckles, scars or the exact shape of a victim's eyebrows. Suffolk police are not saying whether the drawings have resulted in any tips yet.

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