By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter
OAK RIDGE (WATE) – Ten years ago, a fisherman on Melton Hill Lake found a badly decomposed woman's body. Her identity is still unknown.
Investigators believe she had been in the water for a few weeks. Her body was found a few miles downstream from Clark Center Park.
There were no distinctive marks to help identify the woman. The Oak Ridge Police Department has put a lot of work into the case since the discovery in March 2000.
Detective Ron Boucher says even though they were never able to figure out her name, they did determine a lot other things about her. Several clues came from the food she had eaten the day she died.
“After the autopsy, we were able to figure out what she ate, and traced that food back to a buffet called the Iron Skillet on Wyatt Road,” Detective Boucher said. That's a restaurant at a truck stop in Knox County.
Investigators believe the victim was a woman in her 20s who regularly hung out there.
One theory they have is that she was murdered in Knox County, and her body was later dumped in Oak Ridge.
They also say there's another very telling clue about this woman. She had very expensive dental work done.
“It shows she had family that cared about her and her teeth, at some point in her life,” Detective Boucher said.
A few years later, experts at the University of Tennessee created a dummy of what the woman would have looked like.
They say they left her smiling in that model because her smile was so unique they felt it could help identify her. That picture remains on missing person databases all over the country.
“It happened in 2000, and here we are in 2010. There has to be a family wondering where their daughter is, and what happened to her,” Detective Boucher said.
Investigators say because the woman hung out at a truck stop, they believe she could be from anywhere in the country. They think she may have hopped on a truck and wound up in Knoxville.
If you have information about this case, call the Oak Ridge Police Department at 865-425-3511.