YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. - Authorities in Arizona released the identity of “Little Miss Nobody,” a young girl who remained nameless for more than six decades after her killing.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico is the girl who was killed 62 years ago.
Gallegos had reportedly been abducted from the alley behind her home in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 21, 1960, when she was 4 years old. According to reports, she may have been stalked for some time prior to her disappearance.
Her body was found on July 31, 1960, by a school teacher looking for rocks in Sand Creek Wash near Congress, Arizona. Investigators determined the body had been burned and she was likely dead for a week prior to the discovery.
Since then, law enforcement and groups across the country had been working to identify the little girl.
Earlier this year, a fundraiser was started to help pay for further DNA testing for “Little Miss Nobody.” It was quickly funded and her DNA profile went to a private laboratory, Othram, that came up with the result.
Officials said initial comparisons in age, footprints, and clothing did not match Gallegos, so the missing child was ruled out soon after the discovery. Law enforcement also reportedly received a tip from the public that the body may be that of Gallegos. However, it was never re-connected or confirmed until recently.
Years ago, the community provided a funeral and memorial for her with the moniker "Little Miss Nobody." Now, her family hopes to give her a proper headstone with her full name and birth date.
Rey Chavez, the nephew of Gallegos, spoke at the event Tuesday morning. Chavez said he was told his aunt was "feisty," "happy-go-lucky" and loved to play with her cousins and run little errands around the neighborhood. However, Gallegos reportedly stopped being excited to go out just before her disappearance, he was told. They later realized it was likely because her abductors had scared her before she was taken.
"I wanted to be here to thank everybody...for relentlessly not giving this up," Chavez said. "We were amazed at how the people (of the Prescott area) really rallied around her...Thank you for keeping my aunt safe and never forgetting her."
He said the case has impacted his family greatly throughout the years.
While "Little Miss Nobody" now has a name, no suspects have been identified in her abduction or killing.
A set of adult shoe prints and other areas of disturbed soil were found by investigators, but the evidence didn't lead to much. With high summer temperatures, the body decomposed at a high rate, making it difficult for investigators to determine a cause of death.
Gallegos’s remains were partially buried, but no other signs of trauma were obvious.
According to reports, the car involved in her disappearance may have been a dark green early 1950s Dodge or Plymouth with a man, woman and two children inside. Those reports say the people in the vehicle offered to buy Gallegos candy and clothes if she got in the car, and when she refused, they dragged her inside and took off.
Officials say they are working to fill in the blanks of who was involved and what happened in the days between her disappearance and when she was found.
This story was originally reported by Ashley Loose on abc15.com.