Woman’s Remains Found in 1985 Finally Identified as Search for Killer Begins
In March 1985, a driver with vehicle trouble spotted the skeletal remains of a woman near a creek bank in Cheatham County, Tennessee. Now, nearly 40 years later, her remains have been identified.
The woman is Michelle Lavone Inman, who would have been just shy of her 24th birthday when her remains were found. At the time, investigators were able to determine that the skeletal remains belonged to a white female who had been dead for two to five months before her body was discovered, reported Fox 10 Phoenix. Police also believed she was murdered.
For decades she remained a Jane Doe, but in April 2018, investigators developed a DNA profile that they entered into a database hoping someday to get a match. In December 2022, the DNA profile was sent to Othram, Inc., a lab that conducts forensic genetic genealogical DNA testing to find family members of unidentified samples, reported Law & Crime.
Investigators tracked down Inman’s brother in Virginia.
“Agents made contact with a family member and confirmed that he had a sister he had not heard from in more than four decades,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) wrote in a press release. “Agents obtained a DNA standard from the man to be compared against the victim’s DNA utilizing forensic genetic genealogy.”
TBI agents are now asking the public for any help that may solve her murder.
“If you have information about this homicide, specifically any knowledge about individuals Michelle Inman may have been with before her death, or recognize any of the clothing from the scene, please call 1-800-TBI-FIND. Or, send an email to [email protected],” TBI wrote.
This is the latest cold-case victim to be identified using Othram’s technology.
Other Cold Cases Solved with Othram’s Technology
In June, Othram identified the remains of Florence Charleston, whose body had been found in a garment bag in October 1978. Police say the investigation into Charleston’s death is ongoing, and it is still unknown at this time how she ended up in the garment bag in Nevada, 535 miles from where she lived in Oregon. She would have been 68 when she died.
In September 2022, Othram was able to not only identify a woman’s remains but also identify her killer with the help of police detectives. Thirty-three years after 19-year-old Stacey Lyn Chahorski began traveling the country, remains of an unidentified woman found in Dade County, Georgia, were positively identified as Chahorski’s. Othram also tested DNA collected from the crime scene and, along with Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents tracking down leads, identified her killer as Henry Frederick “Hoss” Wise. Wise died in 1999, so while he was identified as Chahorski’s killer, officials do not know the circumstances that led to her death.
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