GEORGETOWN, Texas — On the news or in crime dramas, you've probably seen forensic drawings, depicting suspects and victims in unsolved crimes. The sketches can be vital for investigators, and at times artists are only given a skull to use as a reference.
That's when artists like Natalie Murry come in.
Murry is a freelance forensic artist who recently began volunteering with Williamson County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit to assist in the unidentified remains cases of Orange Socks, Corona Girl and Rebel Ray.
However, her call to serve in law enforcement travels further back than that. Murry was once a police officer in the state of Washington. One day, she decided to attend a composite drawing class her department was hosting and began forensic drawing in 2000.
She transitioned to drawing digitally in 2010, and to this day continues to do so as a freelance forensic artist from the comfort of her home office in Georgetown. Using her Cintiq, which is a digital drawing monitor, she's able to work digitally and remotely with clients around the country.
She still assists the King County Medical Examiner's Office in Seattle, but she most recently began volunteering her talents to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. She calls her office the "art room," and just by walking in, you can quickly see she doesn't mind working with skulls at all.
"I love skulls. I think they're fascinating," Murry said. "I look at people's faces all the time. I'm dying to know what my skull looks like."
Orange Socks, Corona Girl and Rebel Ray were all named after the clothing found on their bodies. To this day, they remain unidentified.
On Halloween of 1979, Orange Socks was found face down in a ditch on the side of I-35, just north of Georgetown. Corona Girl was found on Sept. 25, 1989, near Jarrell. She was wearing black pants, a Corona T-shirt and jewelry. Rebel Ray was found in 1988 in a trailer park off Highway 29 west of Georgetown, wearing a baseball cap with a rebel flag on it.
The drawings for each case hadn't been updated in roughly 30 to 40 years, and then Murry got to work.
"It frustrates me so much that someone is getting away with killing someone, you know, for 40 years," Murry said. "Back then when I drew with a pencil, you’d put it through a copy machine and half your shading would disappear under a copy machine. So, when the drawing comes out, it doesn’t really look that good. Now, working digitally, it looks a lot more realistic. It's a lot more three-dimensional and I think getting that new drawing out there can get some more attention to the case."
It seems to be working. Murry said that, since the updated drawing of Orange Socks was released, that there have been tips coming in.
By using her talent and knowledge of skulls and forensics, Murry continues her pursuit for answers in these cases.
"I think of it as music. If there’s something that’s off on one side, it will be reflected in the rest of the features," Murry explained. "You'll also find the nose is a little lower on that side and maybe the mouth too. All the features are working in harmony. It’s sort of, it’s kind of beautiful. It’s kind of fascinating they all work together, and you’ll find that things just kind of play together."
To call in a tip to the William County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit, call 512-943-1300.
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