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What drinking water reveals

Allen Best

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – Police still do not know the name of a woman whose body was found near Mammoth Lakes, but they know an amazing amount about her. Indeed, the case has drawn national attention, notes the Mammoth Times.The body was found two years ago by a dog belonging to a hiker. Although decomposed, investigators easily figured out it was a female, aged 30 to 50, and an American Indian. A physical anthropologist who specializes in DNA work in aboriginal American populations further isolated her genetic background to that of the Zapotec Indians from far southern Mexico.Forensic anthropologist then did an isotopic examine of the victim’s bones, teeth and hair. That’s when they discovered she had probably been born in Mexico or the U.S. Southwest and lived on a very meager diet based mostly on corn. They also learned the water she drank was consistent with the isotopic signature of the water in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, or even in Los Angeles. Then, in the last 10 to 12 years of her life, she moved to southern Mexico, where she had a much better diet. Finally, in the last two years, she moved to California, although there were no isotopic fingerprints to suggest she had lived any length of time in the Mammoth area.But who is she? Police still don’t know, but they think the woman was seen by two people working at a U.S. Forest Service station in 2002. A very thin woman, she was with a very heavy Caucasian man. The two workers thought she was Asian, but their description very closely fits the reconstruction of her face. They say she seemed frightened of the man, and the workers observed that he was abrasive and mean-spirited.Brisk wind power ordersDURANGO – The amount of wind power purchased by customers of La Plata Energy Association, the Durango-based electrical cooperative, has nearly tripled in the last year and a half. The average additional cost to the households is $17.50 per month. The wind comes from Wyoming, notes the Durango Herald.Vail, Colorado


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