LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nine years have passed since a woman’s remains were found in a remote field, and detectives still have few answers.
Now known as Jane Doe, who was this woman? And who murdered her?
Around midnight on Nov. 14, 2007, police made the grim discovery on Hollandale Road in La Vergne.
“The majority of the remains were found through this wood line here through the trail,” said La Vergne police Det. Sgt. Bob Hayes as he showed News 2 the area.
He said he remembers that night well, and it’s on his mind every single day.
“I can recite it like the back of my hand because I spent so much time on it,” Hayes told News 2.
The detective was training a new recruit and searching for a different missing woman at the time of the discovery.
“We recovered somewhere between 98 to 99 percent of the victim’s skeletal remains,” Hayes said, noting animals had scattered what was left.
The description of the victim is vague: a black female believed to be in her mid to late 30s.
Detectives are hoping a limited Avon Cosmetics jewelry line will be the key in identifying her.
“My hope would be that’s something that a family member, a friend, or loved one would have given my victim and kind of help narrow down and maybe that would be the identifier, ‘Hay, that could be so and so.’”
A facial reconstructionist at University of Tennessee-Knoxville created a clay facial reconstruction of the woman, and Louisiana State University did a computer enhanced photo of what she may have looked like.
But for now, she remains Jane Doe.
“Without identifying, I can’t work any kind of angle as far as what might of happened to her and who might have done it,” said Sgt. Hayes.
There’s also no way to know what was going through her mind as it happened.
“How horrific it might have been for her and what she might have gone through, what she was thinking, wondering if she was yelling for help and nobody hear her?”
Sgt. Hayes told News 2 it appears Jane Doe may have died from blunt force trauma. She did have other injuries, but he’s not going to reveal that part of the investigation for fear of jeopardizing the case.
“Next year it will be a decade, and that’s way too long. Way too long for her not to not have justice, way too long for the family, friends, and loved ones to not to know where she is and way too long for person who did this not to have to answer for what they did,” he said.
Cold case detectives tell News 2 the unidentified woman has been entered into nationwide data bases, including that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for more coverage.