LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created the most recent and enhanced image that reflects what the young boy found dead in Mountain Springs may have looked like.  


Photo rendering of a boy found dead near Mountain Springs on May 28.

NCMEC has a forensic imaging unit that specializes in creating age progression photos for children that have been missing for at least two years, and creates facial reconstruction images using morgue photographs for unidentified remains. 

Colin McNally, the supervisor for the imaging unit, said facial reconstruction was used in this case of the boy found dead near Mountain Springs. He first received a black and white image of the boy last Saturday. 

"I was able to do the reconstruction in a matter of hours, pass it back to my case manager, and then she coordinated that into law enforcement. Now this was done using Adobe Photoshop which is how we do all of our morgue photo reconstructions basically doing an overlay of the original image of the child morgue photograph, and doing photo compositing to open up the eyes, sort of clean up the tissue damage, change the perspective of the image so that it’s turned upright," McNally said.

Since that image was released, McNally said he received color photographs and a picture of the child's teeth that was worth updating.

“Going from only having black and white photos to getting more high-resolution color photographs and then pictures of the child’s teeth in this specific case was a game changer for me as the forensic artist working on this case and capturing more of what this child would’ve looked like when he was alive," McNally said.

He explained they do about a handful of these facial reconstructions a month for different law enforcement agencies around the country.

The forensic imaging unit is comprised of animators and graphic designers. McNally said they all have an artistic background that can apply to this work.

“These images are really important, to make sure we’re capturing what this child would’ve looked like-it's not just creating a face to put out with the case but making this truly specific to this child based on the image that we have, supplemental image to go along with the case information in the hopes that someone will recognize him and give the child his name back,” McNally said.

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