Dead Woman May Have Been Mail-Order Bride, Police Say

Times Staff Writer

A skull found in a Mammoth Lakes park in May could be that of a woman who had told park employees that her husband had beaten her, authorities said.

Deputies at Mammoth Lakes are asking for the public’s help in identifying the woman and her possible killer.

A man walking his dog found the skull on a knoll above Shady Rest Campground. Authorities discovered the rest of the remains buried nearby and sent them to a forensics lab in San Francisco.


Deputies said the remains may be those of a woman tourist whom park workers said they had seen with a man last fall.

Anthropologists identified the skull as that of an Asian female, between 30 and 40 years old and about 4 feet 6. The body most likely was buried before the winter snows, said Mammoth Lakes Police Det. Paul Dostie.

Employees at the Mammoth Lakes Visitors Center said that, in early October, they were approached by a diminutive Asian woman who began whispering to them that her husband had beaten her.

“The woman mumbled to them, ‘I didn’t know this is what it would be like when I came over,’ ” Dostie said. The workers gave her the phone number of Wild Iris, a women’s group in Mammoth.

Meanwhile, a man who appeared to be the woman’s husband asked the Visitors Center about available campgrounds. Only two campgrounds were available at that time, and the body was found near one of them.

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department released a flier describing the victim as possibly a mail-order bride. The suspect was described as about 5 feet 9, and someone who might have told friends that his wife had returned to Asia.

Anyone with information is asked to call (760) 934-2011.