CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (TCD) -- Officials have identified the skeletal remains of a homicide victim found near a creek bank in 1985.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), a motorist having vehicle trouble on Interstate 24 West made the discovery between mile markers 29 and 30 in March 1985. Forensic anthropologists at the University of Tennessee concluded the victim was a white female who had been dead for two to five months before her remains were found. Despite their efforts, investigators were unable to identify the woman at the time and the case went cold, the TBI said.
She was then "classified as a Jane Doe."
More than three decades later, in April 2018, the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center sent a sample of the victim’s remains to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, and they created and entered a DNA profile into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
In December 2022, the TBI sent a sample of the remains to Othram Inc. to help identify the Jane Doe as part of the Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative. Investigators were reportedly able to locate possible family members in Virginia.
According to the TBI, agents communicated with the victim’s potential brother and discovered he had a "sister he had not heard from in more than four decades."
TBI agents took a DNA sample from the potential brother, compared it with the victim’s DNA using forensic genetic genealogy, and Othram Inc. was able to identify the victim as Michelle Lavone Inman of Nashville.
No arrests have been made in connection with Inman’s death, and TBI agents have asked for the public’s help in determining who killed her.