MARYVILLE (WATE) – Deputies are on the scene in Blount County where human remains were found Friday morning.
The remains were found in the area of Butterfly Gap Loop Road. Deputies found the remains and an expert with the University of Tennessee Department of Anthropology confirmed they were human. An autopsy is scheduled Saturday to determine who the remains belong to and how the person died.
Mary Ruth Walker, 69, was reported missing in early May from her home on Butterfly Gap Loop Road. It is not yet known if the remains are connected to her case.
For hours on Friday, parts of Butterfly Gap Loop Road were blocked by Blount County deputies. Friends could not believe human remains were found on this property near the home of Walker.
“I still don’t want to believe it. I still can’t believe it,” said Felita Tipton, a neighbor and friend of Walker’s.
Tipton lives next door. She has been best friends with Walker for almost 30 years.
“Anything she needed done, I was there for her and she has always been here for me,” she said.
She was still holding onto hope. Neighbors said deputies had been there since 10 a.m. Tipton said she searched this property before Friday. She said investigators told her a few weeks ago that she couldn’t search there anymore.
“None of the investigators have come over and told me anything,” Tipton said.
Walker’s sister, Dorothy Knouff, was also frustrated.
“Just want a peaceful day. I haven’t slept good in a month or so,” Knouff said.
Knouff wanted investigators to search more for her sister. She wanted them to look in a wider area. She said she was told that wasn’t going to happen.That was soon after she went missing.
“If this is her body, this month could have been avoided. Unless, someone has done something with her and just dumped her off,” Knouff said.
Tipton said she saw Walker’s daughter getting arrested on Friday morning. Tipton said officers put her in handcuffs and drove her away. The daughter lives on this property. WATE 6 On Your Side is still waiting to find out more details from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.