Year-old La Vergne murder remains mystery

Year-old La Vergne murder remains mystery (Image 1)

It has been more than a year since police in La Vergne, Rutherford County discovered a badly decomposed body in the woods off Hollandale Road.

The body was found in November 2007 and police have yet to have any real clues to go on.

Investigators got a big break when a forensic artist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville constructed a face for their Jane Doe.

Sergeant Mike Mullen, who has been working the case for the last 13 months, desperately hopes someone will recognize the victim's face.

“This is a daughter of a mother and a father that might be looking for this individual and we want to bring closure the best that we can,” Mullen said. “We're running out of options right now.”

Mullen said it's hard for him to go a day without thinking about the case.

He told News 2, “I was out there just the other day at the scene, looking to see if any of the weathering churned up some clue to help us with this case.”

Even a year ago, investigators had little to go on.

They knew she was a black female between the ages of 25 and 40, shot execution style in the back of the head, feet and arms bound and left to decompose for at least four or five months.

Some jewelry was left at the scene, but Sgt. Mullen doesn't believe the crime was random.

He said, “It seemed very passionate.  [The killer] wanted this person to suffer.”

Mullen said their victim had a lot of dental work and they plan on taking her X-rays to dentists around the state.

“Just like an artist would recognize their sketches, their paintings, a dentist is able to do the same thing with dental records,” he explained.

LaVergne police are also working on getting their case a coveted profile on the popular show, America's Most Wanted.

“There's something out there that will bring us to the identity of this person, and we're keeping all options open, nationwide to find this individual's identity,” Mullen said.

He said he continues to check missing persons Web sites all over the country and works his contacts, hoping for anything that may break the case.

“We're already at a year and it kind of makes me sick that I haven't been able to fix this for this individual and the family,” he said.

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