Identity of woman found dead in Texas motel pool remains a mystery

A reconstruction of what the woman's face looked like when she was alive. (Pecos Police Dept./National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
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PECOS, Texas (KWTX) The identity of a young woman found dead 53 years ago in the swimming pool of a motel in Pecos remains a mystery, but police are hoping a new facial reconstruction produced by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will generate leads.

The woman, believed to be between the ages of 17 and 20, checked into Ropers Motel in Pecos at around 2 p.m. on July 5, 1966 with a male companion under the names of “Mr. and Mrs. Russell Battoun.”

She was wearing a pair of dark shorts and a flowered blouse.

Several hours later, while her companion napped, the woman went swimming.

A short time later a motel employee found her dead in the pool.

As her body was taken away in an ambulance, her companion checked out, asked for the registration card back and then left in what was described at the time only as a late model sedan.

The young woman was buried.

Her gravestone says simply, “Unknown Girl Drowned July 5, 1966"

Pecos police Chief Lisa Tarango has assigned Cpl. Felix Salcido to continue the search for the young woman’s identity.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the young woman to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST / 1-800-843-5678 or the Pecos Police Department at (432) 445-4911 attention Cpl. Felix Salcido