TN TN - Nashville, Harpeth River, "Sherry", NativeFem 14-17, UP8494, Mar'76

They need to look more into the man who supposedly gave the two young women a ride. The other female hasn't come forward after 40 years; sounds like she also met with foul play assuming she existed and the drivers story is valid.
 
They need to look more into the man who supposedly gave the two young women a ride. The other female hasn't come forward after 40 years; sounds like she also met with foul play assuming she existed and the drivers story is valid.

Exactly, how can the police know that it wasn't the men who killed her?
The body was also found 90 miles away from where they supposedly dropped them off which is, my opinion, really suspicious.
 
They need to look more into the man who supposedly gave the two young women a ride. The other female hasn't come forward after 40 years; sounds like she also met with foul play assuming she existed and the drivers story is valid.

I definitely agree that the man's story is suspicious.

I do wonder about the other woman allegedly hitchhiking with her. I don't think he was lying about the woman's existence. I tend to wonder if she and "Sherry" got separated and "Sherry" met foul play at the hands of the driver and he just omitted the details, or if maybe the other woman managed to escape while he may have been harming "Sherry".
 
Going through old newspaper articles about missing girls around '75 and '76, I found an interesting handful of articles out of Pennsylvania. I know the general thought is that "Sherry" and her traveling companion were from Minnesota, but there were 2-3 girls from Sunbury, PA who repeatedly ran away in 1975 and, each time, were found in Florida. It seems that they'd make a beeline for FL, leaving again not long after being returned home (one teen, Billie, has at least 3 articles of her being reported missing in just 1975). The part that really stood out to me was a September 1975 article about Billie taking off again, but it said "Police said she may be in the company of Sherry Blankenship and Marie Campbell, addresses unknown."

I can't find anything on a Sherry Blankenship, but I'm still trying. No word on whether Billie or Marie ever returned to PA after that September article. Billie had light brown hair and hazel eyes, but I'm interested to see if I can find more details about this Sherry girl.
 
Spoke with Metro Nashville PD Cold Case today. If nothing else, Sherry Doe's case is not forgotten. Within 10 minutes of leaving a message, I got a call back from the investigator. After explaining which case I was interested in, he quickly located and looked through the case file to answer some of my questions. Her file isn't stuck in some dusty closet, packed away in archives or "lost" somewhere in the land between hard copies and digitization. She's still being looked at and that warmed my heart. The investigator was pleasant, receptive and very helpful.

That being said, I wanted to know more about her autopsy report. Specifically, the mention of "two surgical scars" on her abdomen. Turns out, they aren't really surgical scars. They look more like an old cut/slash wound that healed and scarred. He said that they almost form an "X". As for location, the scars are about midway between breasts and abdomen, just right of center. I asked if they were significant enough to have needed stitches, but he wasn't certain because there are no photos of the scars, only descriptions. At least that's one thing cleared up.
 
Spoke with Metro Nashville PD Cold Case today. If nothing else, Sherry Doe's case is not forgotten. Within 10 minutes of leaving a message, I got a call back from the investigator. After explaining which case I was interested in, he quickly located and looked through the case file to answer some of my questions. Her file isn't stuck in some dusty closet, packed away in archives or "lost" somewhere in the land between hard copies and digitization. She's still being looked at and that warmed my heart. The investigator was pleasant, receptive and very helpful.

That being said, I wanted to know more about her autopsy report. Specifically, the mention of "two surgical scars" on her abdomen. Turns out, they aren't really surgical scars. They look more like an old cut/slash wound that healed and scarred. He said that they almost form an "X". As for location, the scars are about midway between breasts and abdomen, just right of center. I asked if they were significant enough to have needed stitches, but he wasn't certain because there are no photos of the scars, only descriptions. At least that's one thing cleared up.
I wonder if there any clothing or samples from the autopsy still exist that can be sent for DNA testing (assuming they haven't done so already)? It is really unfortunate that the location of her grave is not known.
 
I wonder if there any clothing or samples from the autopsy still exist that can be sent for DNA testing (assuming they haven't done so already)? It is really unfortunate that the location of her grave is not known.

I don’t believe that there are any potentially useful samples/items available. Because her death is, from what I’ve seen, viewed as possibly accidental drowning, I don’t think they did the typical evidence collection as they would in a homicide investigation. I could certainly be wrong, though. From the sound of it, DNA is off the table entirely, which leads me to the above conclusion.
 
I don’t believe that there are any potentially useful samples/items available. Because her death is, from what I’ve seen, viewed as possibly accidental drowning, I don’t think they did the typical evidence collection as they would in a homicide investigation. I could certainly be wrong, though. From the sound of it, DNA is off the table entirely, which leads me to the above conclusion.
That's unfortunate. I suppose there could be a chance, though, if I recall correctly, the autopsy sample used for Walker County Jane Doe was discovered fairly recently when the bone extractions did not yield enough DNA from extraction.

Really seems that as the years pass, forensic genetic genealogy is likely the only option to bring closure to this case. I'm sure that any relatives, if she had any, are getting to be elderly at this point, so time is ticking. :(
 
After extensive searching, I can say that she was not named Sherry/Cheryl (or similar names), born between 1958 - 1962 in Stearns County, MN or surrounding counties. Out of the 338 births in Minnesota's birth records, every one of them is accounted for after 1976. I'm now moving on to Ramsey and surrounding counties, which should be significantly more births but I'm confident in the process. It seems that there's a good possibility that she did tell the men that her name was Sherry/Cheryl, so I'm following that path until I'm certain that there are no stones unturned.

On a more light-hearted note, do you know how many Sherry Ann and Cheryl Anns were born in that area in those 4 years? Sooooo many lol
 
Are you a Cold Case Detective fan? This is where I heard the story and this was my initial finding:

According to CharleyProject, a Native woman named Sherry Elizabeth Roach went missing in 1976 after leaving a group home she was living in, in California. She was known to hitchhike.

She was reported missing in June 1976, was 17 at the time. Five foot 5 inches tall and 115 pounds.
 
Are you a Cold Case Detective fan? This is where I heard the story and this was my initial finding:

According to CharleyProject, a Native woman named Sherry Elizabeth Roach went missing in 1976 after leaving a group home she was living in, in California. She was known to hitchhike.

She was reported missing in June 1976, was 17 at the time. Five foot 5 inches tall and 115 pounds.

While some of Sherry Roach's details could fit with this Jane Doe, there are some key details that make it unlikely. Jane Doe was shorter, about 5'2" and 120-130lbs. Charley Project says Sherry had blue eyes, acne scars and crooked teeth. Jane Doe's eyes were brown and her skin looks pretty clear in photos, aside from the single mole near her eye. She also had the one "oddly positioned" upper incisor along with a few teeth that had fillings or cavities. The main discrepancy, though, is that Sherry was last seen in June and Jane Doe was found in March.

Your comment made me want to go back and look at Jane Doe's dental notes again and I realized that I'd never even considered her tooth development in relation to her age. With the second molars' roots fully developed, it suggests that she's 14-16 years old. The third molar crowns were only partially developed, which aligns with the same age range, give or take a year.
 
While some of Sherry Roach's details could fit with this Jane Doe, there are some key details that make it unlikely. Jane Doe was shorter, about 5'2" and 120-130lbs. Charley Project says Sherry had blue eyes, acne scars and crooked teeth. Jane Doe's eyes were brown and her skin looks pretty clear in photos, aside from the single mole near her eye. She also had the one "oddly positioned" upper incisor along with a few teeth that had fillings or cavities. The main discrepancy, though, is that Sherry was last seen in June and Jane Doe was found in March.

Your comment made me want to go back and look at Jane Doe's dental notes again and I realized that I'd never even considered her tooth development in relation to her age. With the second molars' roots fully developed, it suggests that she's 14-16 years old. The third molar crowns were only partially developed, which aligns with the same age range, give or take a year.

I also noticed the time discrepancies, but wasn’t sure if that was when Sherry was actually last seen or if it was when her boss in the halfway house actually bothered to report it.
 
315 names done, and only 2 so far that I can't cross off the list. It has been a time-consuming process, but I think it will be worth it in the end. One of the names had me hung up for a while. The parents had a son, 8 months later had her, 9 months later had another son. I can track both sons from 7th grade through to today, but she's nowhere to be found. Not in yearbooks, residence records, nothing. She couldn't have been adopted, as Minnesota seals original birth information and replaces the birth record with one that reflects the adoptive parents' residence county and names. She's not in any death indexes either. I had to put a pin in it and keep moving forward, though. Couldn't keep chasing my tail on one of 2,200+ names.

Edited to add: She wasn't listed in either parents' obituary, or her grandparents' obituaries.
 
Only 1 rule out listed:

Case Photo

Missing Person / NamUs #MP14228Lorelee Lhotka
Date of Last ContactJanuary 01, 1975
StateWA
CountyKing
 

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