BOSTON (CBS) — The likeness of her face adorned billboards across the state, social media posts worldwide, and wooden posts near the beach where her body was found.
When investigators released the composite sketch of the little girl, now identified as Bella Bond, millions of people took notice.
Christi Andrews, the forensic artist whose precise sketch of Bella helped identify to her, says she’s relieved the beautiful girl she spent hours drawing now has a name.
“I feel a good sense of relief that we now know who she is and sadness because of what happened to her,” Andrews said in a video for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“When you hear about cases like that, it breaks your heart,” she said.
Andrews used morgue photos and autopsy information to create the image. Andrews said she felt connected to Bella even though she did not know who she was.
“As an artist you’re studying their face, and then you see a live image that goes with your composite,” she said. “That’s the little girl staring back as you.”
Like Andrews, artists who work at the Center have drawn hundreds of other children still waiting for a name.
“We want to know who these kids are, what happened to them,” said Andrews. “Each one of these children are real people who came from families somewhere.”
Watch the full interview: