Face of FACES
BATON ROUGE - LSU's Mary Manhein will retire from the FACES Lab at the end of April after years of helping those who can not speak for themselves.
FACES reconstructs skulls and identifies remains to help authorities link missing persons with their families.
"I'm going to miss them," Manhein said Wednesday after her retirement was made public. "A song might come on the radio and for whatever reason, it reminds me of a case because I've done hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them."
Manhein has worked notable cases such as cases involving suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee and the murder of Mickey Schunick.
The cases that pull at her emotions the most are the ones dealing with children, she said.
"We've worked on cases where children have been burned up in fires. We've worked on cases where children were found in the woods," Manhein said.
The most memorable she says is where 14-year-old Lexis K Roberts was found brutally murdered and left in the woods in Catahoula Parish. The FACES team identified Roberts within days and helped arrest her suspected killer.
"A tragic case and it was very moving," she said. "I was very gratified that we could help get her identified. So we were able to send her remains to her family."
"Thank God for people like Mary," victim's advocate Lynne Marino said.
Marino knows all to well of Manhein's work. Her daughter Pam Kinamore, who Manhein helped identify, is suspected to be killed by the Baton Rouge Serial Killer.
"For Mary, this has been a calling for her," Marino said. "It's not a job to her. It's a calling for justice and for closure for these families."
Manhein plans to focus on her career as a novelist during her retirement.