October 19, 2016
Sacramento, California
A woman is seen carrying a human skull on a stick

Initially, witnesses believed the woman was involved with a Halloween prank, though some were concerned and called police. Police stopped the woman — only identified as Victoria — who brought the officers to a recently-abandoned homeless encampment where the rest of the decomposing remains were located.

The identity of the victim was unknown for two years until 2018. Family members of 26-year-old Mai Ker Thao (pictured, inset) suspected she may be the victim due to her distinctive dyed red hair, and familial DNA testing confirmed her identity.

At this time, no further information regarding Thao’s cause of death has been made public. Authorities are encouraging any who have additional information about Thao’s death to contact the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 808-5471 or the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357).

Edwards, Valerie. “Remains finally identified two years after a homeless woman was seen carrying a human skull on a stick.” Daily Mail. August 15, 2018. Updated: August 16, 2018. Accessed: October 19, 2019. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6063333/Remains-identified-two-years-homeless-woman-seen-carrying-human-skull-stick.html
Lam, Katherine. “Remains identified 2 years after homeless woman spotted carrying skull on stick.” August 15, 2018. Accessed: October 19, 2019. https://www.foxnews.com/us/remains-identified-2-years-after-homeless-woman-spotted-carrying-skull-on-stick.amp
Moye, David. “Woman Carrying Skull On Stick Leads Police To The Rest Of A Body.” HuffPost. October 24, 2016. Accessed: October 19, 2019. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_580e541ee4b000d0b157dd2c/amp
“Woman seen walking with skull on stick leads police to decomposing body.” CBS News. October 21, 2016. Accessed: October 19, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/skull-on-stick-woman-leads-police-to-decomposing-body-sacramento/#

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