CHICAGO – The brutal slaying of a young girl has brought the community of Kansas City, Mo., closer together as residents work tirelessly to discover her identity.
Police found the decapitated body of "Precious Doe," a 4- to 6-year-old African-American, lying by a trail on April 29, 2001. Three more days went by before her head was found.
Activists are calling the girl Precious Doe instead of the generic "Jane Doe," and that is just an inkling of the compassion the community has shown.
Since the gruesome discovery, the city has worked together to find out more about the girl, scouring the streets handing out flyers with her picture on it, hoping someone would have information.
"We spent a lot of time, a lot of prayers, a lot of countless hours of looking," City Councilman Alvin Brooks said. Volunteers have spent "countless hours on radio and television and periodicals and flyers and knocking on doors and walking," he added.
Every week since she was discovered, neighbors have gathered to pray at this memorial site near where she was found.
"Our best hope is that somebody comes forward and tells us who she is, if we can just identify this little girl, that will give us somewhere to start," Detective Michael Hutcheson of the Kansas City police department said.
Police have released a picture of a birthmark on the girl's body, an artist's drawing and a sculpture was also created by a forensic artist all with the hope that someone may recognize her or be able to provide any information about the murder.
Detectives consider this case a top priority and have been comparing notes on missing person cases with agencies nationwide.
Although they've received more than 800 tips and residents have been supportive, police say they're no closer to solving the mystery of Precious Doe than they were when she was first found.
"This whole incident has brought the community closer," said Annette Johnson, a neighborhood committee chair. "I've never met a lot of people before and they're like family ... we are Precious Doe's family."
Fox News' Amy C. Sims contributed to this report.