Island police on Tuesday released a postmortem photograph of the unidentified boy found on a Galveston beach in October, in hopes that the image would shock the memories and consciences of people that might have useful information for investigators.
The boy, given the nickname “Little Jacob” by investigators, was found dead on a seawall beach near Eighth Street in Galveston on Oct. 20.
Police on Tuesday said an autopsy report determined the boy did not drown, and may have been put into the water up to two days before his body was found on the beach.
The cause of the boy’s death was not released to preserve the integrity of the investigation, police said.
Police did confirm the boy’s body showed signs of neglect or abuse, but did not elaborate about what those signs were.
With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and National Weather Service, investigators conducted a “reverse drift analysis” to try to determine where the boy was put into the water. The analysis pointed to areas east of where the body was found, which would include Stewart Beach and East Beach, two of the island’s most readily accessible beach parks.
Since finding the boy in October and releasing an artist’s sketch of his face, the police department has received hundreds of tips in the case, Galveston spokesman Capt. Joshua Schirard said.
None of them have been fruitful, and the main investigator on the case, Galveston Police Detective Jeff Banks, said on Tuesday that most leads have now been exhausted.
“I don’t think we have anything left to investigate at this point,” Banks said. “We’re no closer to figuring out who he is.”
Banks said he had spent all but two days since the boy’s body was found working on the Little Jacob case.
With few other options available, police released a photograph of Little Jacob taken soon after he was found on the beach. It was an unusual step, but investigators hope that the disturbing image would motivate someone new to come forward, Schirard said.
“We continue to believe that someone out there knows this child,” Schirard said. “Someone has seen him. That child deserves to be identified and properly laid to rest. For that to happen, input from the public is absolutely crucial.”
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information relating to the case. Police asked anyone with information about the boy to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.