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Press: Mystery Woman Found Dead

Oxford Eagle, Sunday, July 16, 2000

Mystery Woman Found Dead Near Housing Development
No ID found on partially nude body: officials suspect foul play

by Joe Pye Weed, Staff Reporter

The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department is appealing to the public for help in identifying a woman whose partially nude body was found yesterday hidden in thick kudzu in Kelly Woods. No identifying documents were found at the scene off Route 7, south of Oxford. The woman, believed to be in her late 20s, was approximately 5'8", 130 pounds, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. The woman was wearing only faded blue jeans, and undergarments. The victim was not wearing a shirt and one was not found at the scene.

Authorities have declined to release the apparent cause of death, pending further investigation. However, Coroner's investigators at the scene estimated the woman died approximately 12 hours before her body was discovered by equipment operator Miles Jackson, who was working on an adjacent construction site. Mr. Jackson said he followed some fresh tire tracks into the woods because the secluded area has been used recently as a lover's lane and cars had occasionally broken down, deep in the woods.

Mr. Jackson notified site supervisors of his discovery and they called police and also alerted property developer Michael Robbins. Mr. Robbins, who was driving nearby, was one of the first on the scene, arriving ahead of some members of the Sheriff's Department. He apparently saw the body personally as he was seen walking out of Kelly Woods, looking distressed. In a press release issued late Saturday by Robbins Developments, Mr. Robbins said, "While today's tragic discovery was made not within our Kelly Green development, but on an adjacent property not owned by Robbins Developments, Inc., we are deeply saddened by this young woman's death and pledge to do everything we can to assist the Sheriff's Department in their investigation."

Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said, "If Mr. Jackson had not happened into the area and discovered the woman's body, it might not have been found for some time because it was in a secluded location and was partially obscured by kudzu." PIO Jones indicated detectives believe the woman was killed elsewhere and her body dumped in Kelly Woods, but she declined to specify what evidence led them to that conclusion.

PIO Jones stated there are no reports currently on file with the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department of any missing women that fit the dead woman's description. She said investigators are checking missing persons reports in surrounding counties and will expand the search nationwide, if necessary.

The Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who believes they might have information about the woman's identity to contact them immediately.

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