NYC art students creating sculptures to solve cold cases

Forensic artist Deborah Calderon and her classmates at the New York Academy of Art are working on an exceptional assignment. 

Using their talents they hope to help the New York City Medical Examiner's Office identify unknown murder victims. 

"It really is about this person rather than me the artist my hope is that her family gets some closure," Calderon said.

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The medical examiner’s office provides the class with 3-D replicas of a human skull in a real cold case. 

The artists then begin the meticulous work of a mix of math, science, and art. Each artist uses exact measurements to shape muscles and features on the skull creating a face they hope someone might recognize. 

"Your DNA that's in your skull determines what your face is going to look like," said John Volk, Director of Continuing Studies at the New York Academy of Art.

When the sculptures are complete they are photographed and shared with law enforcement. 

The hope is that the sculptures are so life-like, a family member might see one and finally be able to name this unknown person.