60+ years later: ‘Little Miss Nobody’ murder victim has a name

Her body was found on July 31, 1960, but she was never identified. Until now.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 2:33 PM AKDT
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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (KTVK/KPHO/Gray News) - The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office hosted a news conference Tuesday to announce the name of “Little Miss Nobody.”

A child’s body was found in Congress, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, at the Sand Wash Creek on July 31, 1960.

Without identification, the case became known as “Little Miss Nobody.” Tuesday, the girl was identified as 4-year-old Sharon Lee Gallegos and the sheriff’s office says it was DNA analysis that led to the identification, reported by Arizona’s Family.

Sharon was abducted from Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 21, 1960, and was found 10 days later in Arizona, according to the YCSO. She was playing outside her grandmother’s house when she was abducted.

And thanks to the work of Othram, a Texas-based corporation specializing in forensic genealogy to resolve unsolved murders, officials were able to put a name to the face.

Sharon Lee Gallegos was kidnapped while playing near her grandmother's home in Alamogordo, NM. She was not quite 5 years old.

The YCSO praised the original investigators on the case, saying their meticulous scene preservation and evidence collection made it possible for Sharon to be identified decades later. DNA was not regularly used by law enforcement investigators until the 1980s, more than 20 years after Sharon was found.

Sharon’s nephew, Ray Chavez, attended Tuesday’s press conference. He was born five years after Sharon was abducted and says he wanted to be there for his mother and grandmother who died without learning about what happened to Sharon.

Chavez says Sharon’s brother is still alive and living outside of the country. They will be coordinating over Zoom to think about and plan what they want to do with a final resting place for Sharon.

Ray Chavez represented Sharon's family at Tuesday's news conference. His mom was Sharon's big sister.

The YCSO previously announced in January that it was raising funds to be able to pay for DNA analysis to finally give a proper name to the little girl and to give her family some closure after all this time.

The sheriff’s office says it committed $1,000 and asked for the community to raise the remaining $4,000 to solve the case of “Little Miss Nobody.” In less than 24 hours, YCSO and Othram raised enough money to fund the specialized testing.

Despite multiple leads, the case remains unsolved over 60 years later. In 2018, investigators exhumed her body to get a DNA sample, and a computer-generated image of what she might have looked like based on her remains was created to inspire new tips.

Last year, cold case investigators wanted to start using genome sequencing and DNA testing to identify her, but they still needed money to fund the testing.

Investigators at that time had believed that her remains were buried about a week or two before they were found, but they couldn’t find any injuries to her body. Ultimately, the girl’s death was ruled a homicide with the case gaining national attention.

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