Woman whose skull was carried by a homeless person on a stick finally identified after two years
Mai Ker Thao death was brought to the attention of police after a homeless woman was seen carrying her skull on a stick.
Two years after a homeless woman walking with a human skull on a stick led authorities to the remains of a woman, Sacramento authorities said they’ve finally identified the victim.
Sgt. Bryce Heinlein then said the woman told them she had found the skull and then led them to an abandoned homeless camp a couple blocks away. It is there that the body of the person was discovered by the police. At that time, one of the men who stayed in the neighborhood said that he thought that the foul smell was of a dead cat.
“I went to walk back there and thought, Damn! What the hell is that smell? It makes me sick to my stomach, so I turned my ass around and came back here," he said, as reported by Fox 40. Now, nearly two years after the incident took place, the identity of the woman whose remains were on the stick has been identified. She was identified as Mai Ker Thao. Authorities said Mai’s distinctive dyed red hair and her family’s cooperation helped with the identification process.
“Through that reference, familial DNA, they were able to positively identify the victim,” Sacramento Police Detective Eddie MacAulay said. While the remains have been identified, Sacramento Police Detective Scot Krutz said that there are many questions that are still unanswered in the case of her death.
Investigators have not yet named a suspect in her death but state that the homeless woman is seen as a potential person of interest. "We're trying to find out what she was doing and who she was with the last week of her life, and that's our missing place in her timeline," Sacramento Police Detective Scot Krutz said. "And that could lead us to what happened ultimately in the end," as reported by Fox 40.
Thao's sister, Mai Dai said that the family wants answers. "Why? Why did you have to do that?" she said. While her sister's death has been hard on her and the family, she tries to remember her sister by recalling the times they shared with each other. "We would like to do each other's makeup. We would just hang out and drink a little and just tell jokes all night. And laugh at each other all night and reminisce about our silly past," she said.
Mai's family claims that things started falling apart for her after she had a miscarriage. "It was after she had a miscarriage and then everything just went and fell apart. She just changed," Mai Dai Thao said. "She was never the same anymore. She distanced herself from us." Despite this, her family claims that she was always there for them.