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Baby Doe Likely Came From Boston Area, According To Pollen Tests

BOSTON (CBS) - After studying pollen tests, authorities believe the little girl who was found dead on Deer Island earlier this summer likely came from the Boston area.

Last week, the Texas lab conducting toxicology tests on the unidentified girl, known as "Baby Doe," identified pollen from 40 different species of plants collected from evidence.

Investigators approached Michael Dosmann, the Curator of Living Collections at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, with the list.

"Looking at that listing, that gives you an idea – where would you find those types of plants, what's that landscape look like?" Dosmann told WBZ-TV.

The horticulturist determined the pollen to be from local species - native and otherwise.

"This is a northeastern woodland landscape dominated by oaks, some pines and hemlock trees. But also some plants that wouldn't have been planted - things like alders or some of the woodland plants," said Dosmann.

Additionally, the privet hedge and cedar of Lebanon were identified. The cedar of Lebanon is native to the eastern Mediterranean, but was first introduced to the Arnold Arboretum more than 100 years ago. It can currently be found in large parks, cemeteries, and cultivated landscapes.

Dosmann believes the species found indicated Baby Doe was local to urban-suburban New England.

She was found in a trash bag on June 25.

"People collect pollen everywhere they go, some of it very specific to the region in which they live, so investigators had the pollen from evidence in the Deer Island case tested to see what it would reveal," Jake Wark, the spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, told WBZ-TV.

New Baby Doe Poster

The girl is believed to have been about 4 years old.

She had brown eyes and brown hair, weighed about 30 pounds, and stood about 3½ feet tall.

Dozens of billboards around Massachusetts have shown the computer-generated image of the girl created by investigators. The image has also been seen millions of times online.

billboard canton
Baby Doe billboard in Canton. (Courtesy: Mass. State Police)

Anyone with information can text GIRL followed by the tip to 67283.

In addition, tips can be called in anonymously to the 24-hour phone line at (617) 396-5655.

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