Can a private citizen hire a police sketch artist to recreate a lost photo from memory

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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2022 5:57 pm

Can a private citizen hire a police sketch artist to recreate a lost photo from memory

Post by Arlo1234 »

Hi, everyone. Apologize if this is a strange question to ask, but here goes.

My grandmother on my mother's side survived quite a lot and suffered a lot in her life, growing up without any parents. Eventually she went looking for her mother, but discovered that she was dead, and all she could find was an old black and white photo of her, which she cherished all her life.

Unfortunately, the photo was lost years ago, before I was born, and all we have is my aging mother's memory of what it looked like. I've heard victims on true crime shows talk about how amazing it is how a police sketch artist can take a picture from your head and put it on paper. Now, I understand that statistics have found that police sketch artist drawings are only 9% accurate. But this seems like the last avenue to try. My mother moved a total of four times since the photo was lost, and I've torn apart her current apartment trying to find it. It isn't anywhere. The person she thinks got it when she moved said he isn't sure, but he thinks she told him to give it to a neighbor from a different building whose last name they don't know, and the building has since been demolished.

9% may just be all we can get. I'm wondering if this is even a thing? Can private citizens hire police sketch artists privately, and can sketch artists recreate an entire photo, not just the likeness of a suspect?

My mother is aging, so she's kind of slow to answer questions. The person would need to have some patience in talking to her. She remembers some details of the photo, but not others. For example, she's able to say that the woman in the photo was leaning against something, maybe a table, but isn't sure. She remembers the woman in the picture was wearing a hairnet. I asked if the eyes were beady, but she says they were just eyes but that the woman had a look on her face like she was in charge. She doesn't remember the cheekbones. When I asked about her nose, she said it definitely wasn't wide, that maybe it was a little bit long and pointy. She said the woman was wearing a dress that had a pattern on it like flowers, but she isn't sure if they were flowers.

Wondering does it sound like a sketch artist would be able to recreate anything if he sat and talked with my mother to get details about the picture? And is it even realistic for them to be able to recreate anything, or have we basically hit a dead end?
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