Arizona police officers were at a total loss back in 1960 when they happened across the body of a little girl. Because they were not able to identify the child, police began referring to her as “Little Miss Nobody.” For the last sixty years, the identity of the murdered child whose body was dumped in Yavapai County, Arizona. Now, authorities are able to confidently claim that the little girl was the same four-year-old child who disappeared – or was more likely abducted – from her grandmother’s garden in New Mexico.
In an announcement that might finally provide some closure to the little girl’s family, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office declared that the body of Little Miss Nobody was none other than four-year-old Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico, who went missing decades ago and was never seen from again.
The child’s remains were found partially buried in Sand Creek Wash, near Congress, Arizona. Although she was found on July 31, 1960, it was believed that she had been killed at an earlier time, and her remains had been dumped hastily as her killer tried to escape the iron fist of the Arizona law.
Over the years, experts estimated the victim’s age to first be between six and eight years old and later between three and six years old. This confusion over her potential age – and the fact that she was wearing different clothes than when she was abducted from New Mexico – made it very difficult for investigators to make the connection.
When locals learned that police were not going to be able to identify the little girl who died near their town, residents of Prescott, Arizona, raised funds for a funeral and flowers for the little girl. They also donated the money required to put the body to rest, dubbing the child “Little Miss Nobody.”
The victim’s original gravestone said, “Little Miss Nobody. Blessed are the Pure in Heart… St. Matthew 5:8.”
A news report from 1960 said that a local radio announcer and his wife stood in for the girl’s parents at the funeral so she would not be without support.
“I guess I just couldn’t stand to see a little child buried in boot hill,” KYCA announcer Dave Paladin was quoted as saying in an August 11, 1960 article by The Associated Press, according to Daily Mail.
By all accounts, Sharon was abducted from her grandmother’s garden in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 21, 1960. Her body would not be found until ten days later.
Over the years, the Alamogordo Police Department, the FBI, the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children, and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System all worked on the case. However, the case went cold until investigators were able to use DNA evidence in 2015.
Then in 2022, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Texas DNA company Othram raised thousands of dollars to do specialized testing on the girl’s exhumed DNA sample. These efforts finally helped authorities identify Little Miss Nobody as Sharon Lee Gallegos.
Sharon’s parents have died, but her nephew Ray Chavez was able to receive the news about his long-dead aunt.
“We were amazed how the people rallied around her,” Chavez said. “Thank you for keeping my aunt safe and never forgetting her.”
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