(CNN) -- Before dying, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers was beaten with belts, picked up by her hair, thrown
across the room and held under water, according to an affidavit from the Galveston County Sheriff's
Police believe 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers is "Baby Grace."
(CNN) -- A man in the medical examiner's office pushed back the cheeks on Baby Grace's corpse to put a
smile on her tiny, decaying face. That's how forensic artist Lois Gibson captured the open-mouthed grin
with spangled risotto-sized teeth. It was one of the girl's few features that had survived six weeks in a
shed during a Texas summer and nearly two months in Galveston Bay.
Forensic artist Lois Gibson created a nearly perfect portrait of Riley Ann Sawyers' face.
But it was the way the blond toddler looked outside of the black body bag that made Gibson draw large,
lid-filling eyes on the picture of the girl that led to identifying Riley Ann Sawyers.
"She was so very, very small. She looked like the size of a child that you would change the diaper on, just
laying there on a metal gurney like a giant stainless steel cookie sheet," Gibson says just above a sad,
disbelieving whisper before her voice shifts and she's strong and scientific. "If you are very, very small,
then the iris, that colored part of your eye, takes up almost the entire eye opening."
The corpse's decay helped Gibson perfect the gentle downward slope of Riley's eyes. "The
decomposition was such that I could see that bone on her face," she said. "And her eyebrows were
going to follow her little ridge."
Gibson said she felt her blood pressure rising during her morgue visit. It passed quickly, she said, and "I
turned into the artist. I was going to make the best picture possible and get every piece of anatomy right
and find her name and get justice for her." In spite of what lay on the gurney, Gibson said, "I knew that
she was beautiful, and the picture would reach out to people who knew her and loved her."
And it did. Five days after the release of Gibson's precise post-mortem sketch, Riley's grandmother in
Ohio recognized the sweet face and contacted police.
It's the kind of result police hope for when they summon one of the handful of forensic artists across the
nation who can re-create the faces of maimed, burned and decaying bodies. Gibson spent what she
described as just "three intense minutes" with Riley's body that day. It was all she needed. It was all she
Gibson used autopsy photos and pictures of the clothes and shoes on the body.
"I had to go to the morgue to see her in person. I saw how her hair fell to the middle of her back. She
looked a lot like my little girl at that age," Gibson said. "I took out a picture of my baby girl playing on the
floor with toys at that same age and I drew my daughter's body in that position. And I drew the clothing of
the dead girl on that body and I put Baby Grace's face on that body."
Gibson captured the downward slope of Riley's eyes and the tiny nose with the bulbous tip. "I knew I had
to do this right for that little girl," Gibson said. "I only get one chance, and I want to help helpless victims.
How much more helpless can you be when you're 2, and you're dead."
Police identify girl found dead in box; arrest mom and boyfriend
* Story Highlights
* NEW: Child's mother, boyfriend arrested after a tip led to search
* Police believe child found dead in box is Riley Ann Sawyers, 2
* Body of little girl was found in box that washed ashore last month
* Police asked public for help identifying girl they dubbed "Baby Grace"
(CNN) -- Police have identified a little girl whose body washed ashore in a box last month, and arrested
her mother and stepfather, authorities in Galveston, Texas, said Sunday.
Investigators believe the child they dubbed "Baby Grace" is actually 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers, the
Galveston County Sheriff's office said Sunday.
DNA analysis is still in progress to confirm that identification.
The child's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, and a man identified as her boyfriend, Royce Clyde Zeigler
II, 24, were arrested Saturday on charges of injuring a child and tampering with physical evidence, the
sheriff's department said.
The couple lives in Spring, Texas, a Houston suburb about 75 miles north of Galveston.
Their bonds were set at $350,000 each.
The arrests followed searches conducted Saturday after a November 7 tip, the sheriff's department said.
Deputies and FBI agents plan to release more information at a news conference Monday, Galveston
County Sheriff's Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said.
The girl's grandmother, Sheryl Sawyers, of Cleveland, Ohio, told CNN affiliate WKYC that Riley Ann has
been missing since June. VideoWatch Sawyers family describe their fears before child was identified »
On October 29, a fisherman discovered the body in a blue Sterilite plastic container on an uninhabited
island in Galveston's West Bay.
Police dubbed the dead girl "Baby Grace," and asked the public for help in identifying her.
A medical examiner said the child's skull was fractured, and a forensic dentist estimated her age at 2 to 3
In composite sketches, the girl is wearing a pink skirt and matching top -- clothing authorities said she
was wearing when she was found. The other sketch, a close-up rendering of the child's face, shows a
fair-skinned toddler with long blond hair.
"She is more to us than just a case number, more to us than just an unidentified body. She is very much a
human being," Tutoilmondo said last month. "She is someone's child, someone's grandchild, someone's
cousin, someone's best friend, and to us, that is the most important part about this case."
"We have adopted the name of Baby Grace because, there again, that is part of the emotional part of this
case for us," he said, holding a tiny sneaker identical to one of those the child was wearing when she
CNN's Hank Bishop contributed to this story.
AFFIDAVIT OF GIRL'S MOTHER
The affidavit says the girl's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, described to police how her daughter died and was put in
a plastic storage box that Trenor and her husband, Royce Zeigler, later dumped into a Galveston waterway.
Trenor told police Zeigler tried to commit suicide the weekend before Thanksgiving, and wrote a note that said, "My
wife is innocent of the sins that I committed."
The body of the then-unidentified toddler was found on October 29. A fisherman found Riley's body stuffed inside a
blue storage container that washed up on an uninhabited island in Galveston's West Bay.
A medical examiner said the child's skull was fractured, and a forensic dentist estimated her age at 2 to 3 years.
Police dubbed the child "Baby Grace." A police artist's sketch of her was widely circulated in the news media and
prompted a call to Galveston police from Riley's grandmother in Ohio, who had not seen the girl in months.
On Saturday, police arrested Trenor and Zeigler on charges of injuring a child and tampering with physical evidence,
the sheriff's department said. Their bonds were set at $350,000 each.
The affidavit, obtained by CNN, says when police interviewed Trenor on November 23, she "gave a voluntary
statement on video with her attorney present in which she describes her involvement, with Royce Zeigler, in the
physical abuse, death and disposal of the remains of her daughter, Riley Ann Sawyers."
Trenor's statement said on July 24, she and Zeigler both beat the child with leather belts and held her head under
water in the bathtub. She said Zeigler picked the girl up by her hair and also threw her across the room, slamming her
head into the tile floor.
After her daughter died, Trenor's statement said, she and Zeigler went to a Wal-Mart that night and bought the
Sterilite container, a shovel, concrete mix, and other supplies.
The statement said the box containing the child's body was hidden in a storage shed for "one to two months." Then,
Trenor said, she and Zeigler carried it to the Galveston Causeway and tossed it in, and she saw it drifting away.
Riley Ann's father, Robert Sawyers, on Monday tearfully remembered her as a "fun-loving girl ... with a big
imagination." Video Watch Riley Ann's father describe the little girl »
Riley was "very active, very hyper, but also very well-behaved," Sawyers told reporters in Mentor, Ohio.
She would play "with a water hose ... spraying the whole patio soaking wet until she was done with it," he said, as he
sat behind two photographs of his daughter, a toddler with wispy blond curls.
Robert Sawyers' mother, Sheryl Sawyers, said the family was "devastated" to learn that police believe Riley is dead.
"It's hard to think that I'll never see her again," she said, clutching a red Elmo doll she had planned to give Riley for
Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff's Department said Monday that authorities are "fairly
confident" that the toddler whose body was found on October 29 is Riley Ann Sawyers.
DNA analysis is still in progress to confirm the identification. The results will be available in two to three weeks,
Tuttoilmondo said Riley is originally from Mentor, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, and that "she and her mother came down
to Texas earlier this year."
The toddler was last seen in Texas "three or four months ago," Tuttoilmondo said, although he did not know by whom.
Tuttoilmondo said police did investigate whether Child Protective Services had taken Riley away, something the
mother had reportedly alleged. Of that report, Tuttoilmondo said, "What we believe is that is not what happened."
The affidavit said Trenor admitted that after the body was found, Zeigler had her type up a fake letter from the Ohio
Department of Children's Services saying that Riley was to be taken away.
Trenor left Ohio in late May, after filing an allegation of domestic violence against Robert Sawyers and reaching a
joint voluntary agreement that gave her custody of Riley and gave Robert Sawyers visitation rights, the Sawyers'
family lawyer said Monday.
"She disappeared," Laura DePledge said Monday at the Ohio news conference with the Sawyers.
Sheryl Sawyers said Monday that she saw widely distributed police sketches of "Baby Grace" and contacted
Galveston police in November. The girl in the police sketches strongly resembles photos of Riley.
"No, I never did think it would end up like this," Sheryl Sawyers said Monday, eyes welling. "I guess knowing is better
than not knowing."
The girl's family in Ohio has been "very helpful" in this case, Tuttoilmondo said, adding that the FBI and a Galveston
County police officer visited the family in Ohio on Sunday.
DePledge said Riley was the product of a "teenage pregnancy." Trenor and Robert Sawyers were together for two
years as a result of the pregnancy, DePledge said, during which time they lived with Sheryl Sawyers.
DePledge said Monday that the family, whose grief she described as "simply overwhelming," wants Riley's body
returned to Ohio for a memorial service. "What Riley needs is to be brought home," she said. "I think this family
needs some closure."
Tuttoilmondo asked anyone who knew the child or her family to help detectives reconstruct the events of Riley's
The toddler's case has touched even hardened police officers, he said. "Any way you look at it, we carry a piece of
her with us, and we'll always carry a little piece of her with us," he said Monday.
He held up a small, pink-and-white shoe identical to those the child was wearing when she was found. "That says it
all. A little-bitty shoe."
Below is a CNN video about Baby Grace. Then read the two articles. You are not required to make notes on
her case, but I would recommend jotting down some notes so you can refer back to the case.
Where's the video?
I have had problems loading the video
into the website. This is the link on
CNN. I hope you are able to see it. If
not, I have it stored on my computer
and you can watch it on Thursday.