PINEVILLE, Mo. — McDonald County authorities are reporting that dental records and a tattoo now support their prior, more tentative identification of a woman's body found along Missouri Highway 59 near Noel as that of 25-year-old Jessica McCormack.
Sheriff Michael Hall said in a news release today that investigators were able to find a dentist office where McCormack was seen several years ago and to obtain dental records for comparison with X-rays taken by a forensic dentist following an autopsy conducted on the remains discovered July 29 near the bottom of a steep hillside along the highway.
Hall said the forensic dentist could not make a positive identification with 100 percent certainty using those records because of the length of time that has passed since McCormack had been to the dentist office and the extent of tooth decay in the remains found in McDonald County. But investigators also were able to match a tattoo on the left wrist of the body with the description family and friends provided of a tattoo McCormack had on her wrist, the sheriff said.
"With those facts, we are confident in our identification that the female was that of Jessica McCormack," Hall said in the release.
The sheriff said the effort to locate McCormack's boyfriend, Mahamud Tooxoow Mahamed, 37, as a person of interest in the presumed homicide of McCormack remains ongoing.
"We believe that he has fled the area and are continuing to search for him and ask that if anyone does have information where he might be staying to call and talk with investigators," Hall said.
Mahamed, a Somali national who had been living in Noel and is the father of McCormack's 20-month-old daughter, Saidah Noor, has been charged in federal court with kidnapping and is considered a fugitive from justice.
He is believed to have taken McCormack's three young daughters to Iowa in the wake of her death. A woman who formerly worked with Mahamed at the Tyson plant in Noel told authorities that he brought all three girls to her home in Des Moines on Aug. 5 and disappeared three days later, leaving her a note asking the woman to take care of them.
The kidnapping charge is based on Mahamed's purported failure to obtain permission of the father of the oldest girl, 4-year-old, Siah Casillas, to take her out of state. Mahamed also still faces sodomy and weapon charges in state court stemming from a prior incident in July 2017 involving another woman.