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Comic-Con artist uses forensic art to solve San Diego cold case

Forensic Artist Joe Mullens is using the 3D printout of a real skull and some clay to help mold it into the image of a missing person.

SAN DIEGO — Comic-Con is a place where you will typically see a lot of characters and superheroes come to life. But in Exhibit Hall F, the art at one booth is being created to help solve a real-life mystery.

“The only way this works is if the right person sees this,” said Forensic Artist Joe Mullens.

Mullens is using the 3D printout of a real skull and some clay to help mold it into the image of a missing person. Every muscle and strand of hair is taken into consideration.

“Everything about what this person looked like in life is etched into the skull from the width of their nose to their hairline," said Mullens.

The face Mullens is building is of a young man whose remains were discovered in the Tijuana River back in March of 1995. 

The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children have taken on the investigation into this cold case.

“We don’t know why this happened to this child back in 1995 but we want answers,” said child advocate Callahan Walsh.

The NCMEC works on about 30,000 missing person cases at any one time.

While technology has changed the game in finding answers - sharing the information with the masses is critical.

“Somebody right here at Comic-Con can help solve this case,” said Walsh.

The project will be completed by Saturday. Investigators are encouraging anyone who is planning to be here to take a picture and blast it on social media to help find some answers. 

The NCMEC/Adobe booth is #4313 on the Convention floor.

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