BOSTON -- Massachusetts police have added earrings to the computer-generated image of a young girl whose remains were found in a trash bag on a Boston Harbor beach, continuing their quest to learn the girl's identity.
The image was updated Thursday after the Massachusetts Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that the child had pierced ears, reports CBS Boston.
The new image was posted on the state police Facebook page. Using photos of her remains, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created the composite of what the girl may have looked like when she was alive.
The previous image of a girl with long brown hair, chubby cheeks and expressive brown eyes, had been seen by about 47 million people as of Wednesday. It's prompted hundreds of tipsters to call in and police have followed up on about 20 leads, but none have led to an identification.
Police have been trying to identify the child since June 25, when a woman walking her dog on Deer Island, a peninsula connected by a causeway to the Boston suburb of Winthrop, found the remains in a trash bag. The girl was believed to be around 4 years old.
The artist who created the composite told CBS Boston the updated image may help jog someone's memory.
"Pierced ears is an identifier," says forensic artist Christi Andrews. "So if you know a child - especially a child this young - three or four years old that has pierced ears, that's a significant identifying detail."
The girl was also wearing white leggings with black polka dots. Inside the bag with her remains was a zebra-print blanket.
The Massachusetts State Police have not ruled out the possibility that the girl was killed by a family member, agency spokesman Dave Procopio told 48 Hours' Crimesider Tuesday.
The child's body didn't show any apparent signs of trauma and it's not clear whether or not she was murdered, Procopio told Crimesider. A district attorney said Tuesday that authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if the girl was poisoned or ingested drugs.
However, after her information was shared with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and state and local jurisdictions across the country, Procopio said state police can't find any corresponding missing persons reports.
"If any local police department had taken a report on her by now, I think we would know," Procopio said.
It's likely the child was never reported missing at all, he said -- raising the possibility that a family member or caretaker knows about her disappearance, and raising suspicion they may have killed the girl or disposed of her body.
Tuesday, Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley spoke directly to the child's parents at a press conference, appealing to them to contact authorities.
"If you are a parent or caregiver and you did this -- placed her body in a trash bag, wrapped it in a blanket and left it on the beach or put her in the ocean -- clear your conscience," Conley said. "Step forward and make yourself known, because nobody deserves that kind of ending."
Rosanna Cavallaro, a former state prosecutor who is now a professor at Suffolk University Law School, said the girl was so young that there likely is no identifying information such as fingerprints in any database.
The state police crime lab has begun the process of extracting DNA, working with an academic lab, though results could take some time, Procopio told Crimesider. The child's DNA would then be compared to state databases that require DNA sample submission for those convicted of certain crimes.
While it's unlikely a child's DNA would turn up in such databases, it's possible an adult relative might, he said.
Procopio said investigators are grateful to the public for "caring about this little innocent."
"But we continue our request for leads," he said.
"We need people to continue to look at her and think about her and let us know if anything in their memory clicks."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at (617) 727-8817, Massachusetts State Police at (508) 820-2121 or Winthrop Police at (617) 539-5806.