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Calgary police create ‘likeness’ of mom to try to solve mystery of baby found dead on Christmas Eve

WATCH: Calgary police are using cutting-edge technology to try and solve the mystery of a newborn baby abandoned in a dumpster Christmas Eve. New images have been created to help police track down the mother. Nancy Hixt reports.

Calgary police have created a likeness of a mother believed to have abandoned her newborn baby in a dumpster on Christmas Eve.

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) said it used DNA phenotyping to create images of the woman, using the specialized services of a company in Virginia.

READ MORE: ‘I wake up in the middle of the night’: Calgary man haunted by discovery of infant on Christmas Eve

In a statement released Wednesday, police said the company predicts “physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.”

“Based on biological material found at the scene, a scientific approximation indicates that the mother is likely of mixed race with a fair skin complexion, possibly of Métis or Indigenous descent,” police said.

Police emphasize this is not a definitive composite sketch. It shows the mother at age 18.
Police emphasize this is not a definitive composite sketch. It shows the mother at age 18. Calgary Police Service

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit said he’s hoping the photos will generate new tips.

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“Right now we are at an investigative standstill,” he said. “They have had success in the United States and this technique has been publicly utilized in Canada twice already–in Windsor and Sudbury.”

READ MORE: Psychologist urges sympathy for mother of newborn abandoned in Calgary Christmas Eve

Investigators believe her hair is dark, likely brown or black. They believe she has hazel eyes that may also appear green.

Investigators emphasized the images that have been produced are not definitive composite sketches.

“This is a scientific approximation; it is not exact in relation to the picture,” Schiavetta said.

 

This ‘likeness’ shows the mother at age 25.
This ‘likeness’ shows the mother at age 25. Calgary Police Service

Ellen Greytak with Parabon NanoLabs told Global News the company has worked on more than 150 cases. Of those, 20 per cent have been solved.

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“We have a new DNA sample from either a crime scene or unidentified remains and investigators want to know about that DNA,” Greytak explained. “We run that DNA through our predictive models that will say, ‘This DNA most likely comes from a person with blue eyes.’”

Details like age and body weight can not be predicted from the DNA; that’s why police had three images made of the woman–one at age 18, 25 and 30.

WATCH: Calgary police use DNA technology to search for Calgary mother

Calgary police use DNA technology to search for Calgary mother
Calgary police use DNA technology to search for Calgary mother

Investigators are asking the public to focus on the likeness of the 25-year-old.

Police said it cost approximately $10,000, adding that price is consistent with other DNA testing.

Police have also released a likeness of the baby, created by a sketch artist.

Calgary police released this sketch of a baby found dead in a dumpster on Christmas Eve 2017.
Calgary police released this sketch of a baby found dead in a dumpster on Christmas Eve 2017. Calgary Police Service

READ MORE: Homicide unit investigating after newborn found dead in Calgary parking lot

The infant was found nearly eight weeks ago.

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A man was out walking his dog, taking out his trash at a city recycling depot, when he made the discovery on Christmas Eve.

WATCH: Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta updates the investigation into a baby found dead in a Bowness parking lot, including the use of DNA technology to create an image that has a likeness to the mother of the baby.

Calgary police update investigation into baby found dead in Bowness on Christmas Eve
Calgary police update investigation into baby found dead in Bowness on Christmas Eve

Police believe the baby may have been alive when she was left.

Investigators have looked into numerous tips, but still have not yet been able to identify the baby’s mother.

READ MORE: Newborn found dead in Calgary parking lot may have been alive when left: police

Police now have the mother’s DNA and the infant’s DNA, which can be used to follow up on any new leads.

The mother’s DNA was run through the RCMP data bank but police said no match was found.

Anyone who believes they have information on the identity of the woman or the events that led up to the incident is asked to contact the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877, the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.