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Press: Girl and Dog Find Slashed, Stained Clothes

shirtOxford Eagle, Monday, July 17, 2000

Clothes May Link To Dead Woman Found Saturday
Teen girl and her dog sniff out clues

by Alicia Armitage, Staff Reporter

Opal-Marie James, 14, of Burgess and her dog, Lester, unearthed a potential clue yesterday in the death of a woman found Saturday in Kelly Woods, south of Oxford. The pair discovered a plastic bag in a ditch along the side of Route 6 around 2:00 p.m. Sunday, while walking to a nearby store. The teenager said she became frightened when she looked inside the bag and ran home to tell her mother what she had found. Her mother, Natalie James, then called 911 to report her daughter's discovery.

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officials have not disclosed the contents of the bag, but did say one of the items inside was a slashed and stained woman's sleeveless top. The label in the rayon shirt indicates it was manufactured on the Indonesian island of Bali, where many inexpensive, unusual items of clothing are produced. The pink, gray and cream top, similar to the one pictured at right in a photograph obtained from the manufacturer, has a cobweb pattern with a yin-yang and a fishbone-like design.

Sheriff's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said she could not confirm whether the stains on the shirt were blood until official test results are received. She acknowledged the items discovered in the bag could be linked to the partially nude body of an unidentified woman found Saturday, but said there was no known connection at this stage. She stated that forensic testing will be performed on the contents of the bag to determine whether any relationship exists between the woman's body and the shirt or any other items found in the bag.

PIO Jones said the Sheriff's Department requests anyone who recognizes the shirt to contact them immediately.

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