Dead woman found in Summitville died of gunshot wound; still no ID
By Wayne Thomas, staff writer
Coffee County Sheriff Department investigators and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) were hoping that an autopsy of a woman’s burned body found in a rock quarry near the Summitville cave on Fire Tower Road Saturday afternoon would help determine who she is, but so far her identity remains a mystery.
A dead body was discovered near a cave off Firetower Rd. in Summitville at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday. Authorities haven't yet released the name of the woman. Pictured from left near the scene are Coffee County Sheriff's Department investigators Chad Partin, Kerry Farrar, Larry Floyd and Manchester Police Department investigator Butch Stewart. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)
The woman’s charred body was found Saturday by Jerry Allen, who was riding a four-wheeler in the quarry area, who then notified authorities.
According to Capt. Frank Watkins of the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, the white female was one time at another location and her assailant dumped her body in the quarry.
“Her body was then set on fire and partially burned,” the deputy said.
According to the TBI, she died of a gunshot wound to the chest area.
According to Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves, after the body was discovered and investigators arrived they sought the assistance of the TBI Mobile Crime Lab.
The mobile unit arrived and with the assistance of deputies, officers began to collect evidence from the area.
“Because the crime scene was the quarry, we had a large crime scene and potential evidence to collect from the area,” Graves said.
According to TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm, the medical examiner was not able to determine how long the woman’s body had been in the quarry, “but TBI agents believe she had been there for only a couple of days.”
Watkins stated that the victim is a white female, approximately 4’8” to 5’ 2” tall, weighed between 100 to 120 lbs, and had dark, shoulder-length hair.
According to the TBI, she was wearing a black shirt with orange writing and a pink bra. She had no teeth in her bottom jaw, but wore dentures as her top teeth. It is possible she had a pierced left eyebrow.
“We have had calls from several counties that have missing women but so far none of those have panned out,” Watkins said. He noted that she did not match any of the missing women from Coffee County.
“We know that there are things on Facebook that list her as various people but so far none of those were accurate,” Watkins said.
Wayne Thomas may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org