Investigators are still trying to piece together clues to identify body parts founds in various parts of Calvert Vaux Park this year.
First it was a hand — apparently severed at the wrist — found washed up on the beach. Police scoured the area and soon found more body parts, including a severed foot. Later, teenage explorers found a spinal cord and elbow. A DNA match has confirmed that all the limbs belonged to the same person, according to the medical examiner, but authorities are still baffled by the cause of death and the deceased’s identity.
Then, recently, a breakthrough — a patch of skin from the person’s leg bearing what looks like a faded tattoo.
Detectives used baby lotion to soften and stretch the blackened, shriveled skin and try to make out the image, bringing the markings to a tattoo artist try and recreate the original design, reports the New York Times. What emerged was a rose and heart bearing the name “Monique.”
Since the tattoo artist working with police declined to be identified, The Times instead headed out to Sheepshead Bay to analyze the distinctive markings with Joe Khay of Citizen’s Ink on Avenue U.
Together, they created a profile of the mysterious woman:
“It’s old,” he said. “It’s not well made. She got it off the wall, meaning it was already a pre-made design and they just put the name in there.”
That image was more popular in the 1970s and ’80s, Mr. Khay said in his shop, reaching for a sheet of similar, although superior, roses with name-banner designs.
“She’s probably in her 50s,” Mr. Khay said, close to the police estimate. “She doesn’t have a lot of money. This could have been a hack job. Could have been a kitchen wizard,” someone who does tattoo house calls for practice.
Khay added that Monique was probably the woman’s own name, which people frequently select as their first tattoo — sometimes later regretting the choice.
“I’ve covered up countless names,” Khay said.
Anyone with information regarding the mystery woman or the tattoo is asked to call the NYPD’s crime stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.