Woman’s Remains Identified After Being Found in Roane County Nearly Four Decades Ago

ROANE COUNTY – A woman whose remains were found in 1987 in Roane County has been identified as a result of a partnership between the Roane County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative.

On August 29, 1987, a body was discovered by a passer-by beside a garbage dumpster in the 2600 block of Highway 58 in Kingston. Forensic anthropologists determined that the remains were those of a white female, likely between the ages of 35 and 50. The victim had been burned after her death and discarded beside the dumpster. Investigators with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office worked to determine the identity of the victim through the use of technology available in 1987, but their efforts were not successful. After exhausting all leads, investigators could not determine the victim’s identity, and she was classified as a Jane Doe.

Attempts to identify the Roane County Jane Doe continued, and in April of 2009, the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center submitted a sample of her remains to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A DNA profile was developed and entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System in hopes that the woman would eventually be identified, but no developments occurred.

In April, as part of the Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative, TBI agents assisted the Roane County Sheriff’s Office by submitting a sample of the woman’s remains to Othram Inc., a private lab based in Texas, for forensic genetic genealogical (FGG) DNA testing. Scientists provided information about possible relatives connected to the woman.  Last month, agents made contact with one of those family members and obtained a familial DNA standard. That standard was then submitted to Othram for comparison against the DNA of the unidentified woman. Based on the DNA and forensic genealogy results, scientists at Othram confirmed that the unidentified remains belonged to Betty Lou Wisley (DOB: 12/30/1935), originally of Clinton, Missouri. It was further determined that Wisley was living in or near the Knox County area at the time of her death.

Now, Roane County Sheriff’s Office Investigators and TBI special agents are hoping the public can help piece together the events leading up to Betty Lou Wisley’s death. Anyone with information, specifically any knowledge about individuals she may have been with before her death, is asked to contact the Roane County Sheriff’s Office at 865-717-4722 or email tips to awolff@roanesheriff.org.

Click here to read more about TBI’s Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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