Woman’s body still unidentified after 15 years

Woman's body still unidentified after 15 years (Image 1)

The identity of a woman who was found floating in the Cumberland River in March 1998 continues to puzzle one cold case detective.

Detective Jill Weaver still thinks about the case, even though it was before she took a job with the Metro Cold Case Unit.

“It just surprises me that after all this time she hasn't been identified,” Det. Weaver said.

In March 1998, the woman's body was spotted floating in the Cumberland River near Cleese's Ferry in west Nashville.  She had been shot twice in the head.

The woman didn't have any identification on her, but appeared to be in her 40s, about five feet, two inches tall, weighing around 170 pounds.  She was wearing black athletic pants with a “Tweety Bird” emblem on the front.  She was also wearing several pieces of jewelry, including a gold zodiac necklace with a “Leo” zodiac symbol on the charm.

Det. Weaver said this woman was well kept.  She had dark brown hair with blonde highlights. She also had $10,000 in dental bridge work.

“So, she wasn't someone who appeared to be transient,” Det. Weaver said.

The woman's DNA and fingerprints were submitted into the national database in 2011, but there were no missing person matches and the woman had no criminal record.

“It's kind of amazing that there are prints, you got DNA, you got a pretty intact body. Visibly, you can see her features pretty well, of course what she was wearing, and no one can identify her,” Det. Weaver said.

A clerk at the Valley Market on Music Valley Drive in the Donelson area believed she saw the woman the night before, because she remembered complementing her on the necklace.  The clerk said she also saw a black man with the woman, who was also wearing a gold zodiac necklace.

However, Det. Weaver said that lead never panned out.

Click here, for more information on the case.

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