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Tests Help Sheriff Determine What Baby Hopes Parents Might Look Like

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The search for the parents of an abandoned infant found dead in Wheaton two months ago has taken a high-tech turn.

The DuPage County Sheriff's Office teamed up with a Virginia genetic phenotyping company, Parabon Nanolabs, to determine the Baby Hope's ancestry; and come up with images of what the girl's parents might look like.

The sheriff's office has released images of what the mother and father might look like as 15 year olds and 25 year olds. The parents are believed to be Latino.

However, Detective Sgt. Jeff Christiansen warned the pictures might look nothing like the parents.

"Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet; and other non-environmental factors such as hair, facial hair, scars cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subjects' predicted and actual appearances," he said.

Still, Christiansen said police are asking the public to "study these images" and contact police if they recognize the mother or father of Baby Hope.

"Baby Hope is not only a member of the community, but a member of our family. We believe somebody in the community holds the key to bring closure to Baby Hope," he said.

Baby Hope was found inside a black backpack along Plamondon Road next to the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton in August. Police said a brown toilet lid cover and brown bathroom rug bought at WalMart were found near her.

The cause of her death has not yet been determined.

Police said, based on a toxicology report on Baby Hope, her mother takes a prescription Lamotragine, which is "commonly used for the treatment of epilepsy, seizures, bipolar disorder and/or sleeping disorders."

Christiansen asked people with information on Baby Hope to call a 24-hour tip line, 630-407-2400. You can also contact the sheriff's office via text message, by texting the word "sheriff" and your lead to 274637.

The Illinois Crime Commission is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who can identify and locate Baby Hope's parents.

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