TN TN - Sweetwater, Ore Quarry, Wht/HispFem 20-30, UP55678, wrapped in bedspread/curtains, Aug'83

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This case was very recently added into NamUs (slightly more than a month ago).

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
No Doe Network Entry

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Circumstances:
The victim was found at the Ore Quarry in Monroe County, Tennessee on August 5, 1983 by two subjects hunting. The body was wrapped in a bedspread and curtains and was tied with twine similar to that used for hay bailing and farm purposes. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition with a large part of the body tissue deteriorated.
Est. Age: 20-30
Location Found: Sweetwater, TN
Date Found: August 5, 1983
Est. Height: 5'1" - 5'7"
Est. Race(s): White, Hispanic
Sex: Female
PMI: 1982-1983 (Possibly August 1982 or 6-12 months prior (see below))
Hair:
Brown, curly, and long (or blond (see below))
Clothing:
White t-shirt with green teddy bear design, white and pink flowered cotton pullover shirt with a lace appliqued front with a row of pearl-type buttons halfway down the front of the shirt, a white Playtex Cross Your Heart bra estimated cup size of 36B.

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I found some newspaper clippings with information on this Doe. Some of it is restated, while some of it differs from the NamUs estimates.

First clipping mentions two bodies found in separate quarries, one being our Doe and one that was found in Knox County, TN. I do not know if she was identified. This article states that the Doe had blond hair, while the NamUs page states that the Doe had brown hair.

Second clipping states that authorities believed that Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas were connected to the case. Also, states the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head. Lucas said he was "70%" sure the murder happened in August of 1982, but I'm not sure if I believe him considering the sheer volume of confessions he made. It's still interesting to note, though.

Third clipping narrows down the PMI to about six months to a year. Otherwise, it's similar to the second clipping.

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Possible match: Helen A. Sample

She went missing from Cleveland, TN, which is only 45 minutes away from where the Jane Doe was found.

She went missing in Feb. of 1983 and is in the same height range. She also has curly brown hair.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Thoughts???
 

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Possible match: Helen A. Sample

She went missing from Cleveland, TN, which is only 45 minutes away from where the Jane Doe was found.

She went missing in Feb. of 1983 and is in the same height range. She also has curly brown hair.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Thoughts???

Helen seems like a pretty good match to me! The timeframe makes sense, Helen's location missing from vs. the UID's location found also wouldn't be too far out of the realm of possibility, height, race, hair color and hair type make sense as well. I think you should submit Helen to LE; with the amount that matches, I think there's a decent chance this UID could be her. Not much to go off of on circumstances. Lucas said he was "70% sure" that he committed the crime in August of 1982, but 1) there's still that 30% and 2) Lucas was known for the large amount of confessions he made, a decent amount of which were most likely inaccurate or fabricated entirely.
 
There is very little information on Helen Sample. She is listed in Charley and Doe Network as Heller Sample and is mentioned in this article, also under Heller, as the oldest missing person's case in Bradley County, TN. She had a daughter who would now be ~38. I do think the physical description and the timeline are extremely close. Based on the newspaper article that reported that the body had been underwater, I think the scenario at the shorter end of the PMI estimates is more likely, although the wrapping and the colder water of a quarry may explain some of the longer estimates.
 
There is very little information on Helen Sample. She is listed in Charley and Doe Network as Heller Sample and is mentioned in this article, also under Heller, as the oldest missing person's case in Bradley County, TN. She had a daughter who would now be ~38. I do think the physical description and the timeline are extremely close. Based on the newspaper article that reported that the body had been underwater, I think the scenario at the shorter end of the PMI estimates is more likely, although the wrapping and the colder water of a quarry may explain some of the longer estimates.

Yeah, I think the PMI is on the shorter scale. Being in water would speed up decomposition.

In the NamUs description, they also spell her name as “Heller”. I don’t know which is correct.

Anyway, I sent the possible match into the NamUs case owner as I couldn’t find an email for LE. She said she’d send it into LE. I’ll check back with her in a month or so asking for updates and I’ll put them in the thread.
 
I'm looking for a woman named Graciela Maldonado from Sacremento, California. I think this might be her. It's hard to determine without a facial reconstruction but the facts seem to fit. She was white/hispanic and 28 years old when she disappeared in 1982 and was known to move around frequently. Could this be her?

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Original
 
I'm looking for a woman named Graciela Maldonado from Sacremento, California. I think this might be her. It's hard to determine without a facial reconstruction but the facts seem to fit. She was white/hispanic and 28 years old when she disappeared in 1982 and was known to move around frequently. Could this be her?

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Original


Her NamUs makes it sound like she mostly moved around CA.

If you were to submit the potential comparison to LE, is there DNA or any medical files for Graciela that you know of?

I'm a believer that people can end up in unexpected places all the time, since I've known so many of the transient variety.

It's entirely possible but without more information it's impossible to say if they're a match.
 
Yeah, I think it's possible given the lack of information but, personally, I don't think it's Graciela. The UID also had medium brown hair that was curly in texture, and Graciela's hair seems both straighter and darker than what the UID's hair is described as (although maybe in that picture she straightened her hair?)

I don't think Heller Sample was submitted yet as a potential match for Sweetwater Jane Doe, and I'm considering submitting her because I feel like the details are really close. The NamUs case file was created very recently as well, so maybe LE are investigating the possible connection as well.
 
Yeah, I think it's possible given the lack of information but, personally, I don't think it's Graciela. The UID also had medium brown hair that was curly in texture, and Graciela's hair seems both straighter and darker than what the UID's hair is described as (although maybe in that picture she straightened her hair?)

I don't think Heller Sample was submitted yet as a potential match for Sweetwater Jane Doe, and I'm considering submitting her because I feel like the details are really close. The NamUs case file was created very recently as well, so maybe LE are investigating the possible connection as well.
I tried to submit her earlier when I thought it was a possible match. I don’t believe I got a response back.
 
Yeah, I think it's possible given the lack of information but, personally, I don't think it's Graciela. The UID also had medium brown hair that was curly in texture, and Graciela's hair seems both straighter and darker than what the UID's hair is described as (although maybe in that picture she straightened her hair?)

I don't think Heller Sample was submitted yet as a potential match for Sweetwater Jane Doe, and I'm considering submitting her because I feel like the details are really close. The NamUs case file was created very recently as well, so maybe LE are investigating the possible connection as well.
I checked if I did and I sent it to the NamUs case owner. I must have not been able to find an email for the detective in charge of Heller’s case. I’m gonna keep looking since you reminded me.
 
0 Missing Person Exclusions” per NamUs

Unidentified Person / NamUs #UP55678
Female, Multiple

Date Body Found: August 5, 1983
Location Found: Sweetwater, Monroe County, Tennessee
Race / Ethnicity: White / Caucasian, Hispanic / Latino
Estimated Age: Adult - Pre 30; 20-30
Estimated Year of Death: 1982-1983
Estimated Height: 5' 1"-5' 7"
Hair Color:
Long, curly, medium brown hair
Eye Color: Unknown
Clothing: The victim was wearing a white t-shirt with a green teddy bear design, a white and pink flowered cotton pullover shirt with a lace appliquéd front with a row of pearl type buttons halfway down the front of the shirt and a white Playtex Cross Your Heart bra estimated cup size of 36B.
Circumstances of Recovery: The victim was found at the Ore Quarry in Monroe County, Tennessee on August 5, 1983 by two subjects hunting. The body was wrapped in a bedspread and curtains and was tied with twine similar to that used for hay bailing and farm purposes. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition with a large part of the body tissue deteriorated.


 
I checked if I did and I sent it to the NamUs case owner. I must have not been able to find an email for the detective in charge of Heller’s case. I’m gonna keep looking since you reminded me.

Consider submitting to the ME and direct to the possible match/Missing Person's LE contact as well, just to cover all bases.
 
Consider submitting to the ME and direct to the possible match/Missing Person's LE contact as well, just to cover all bases.
I did end up contacting LE but they never responded to my phone call. I’ll look into finding the ME.
 
Regarding Heller, Sweetwater is just a short, straight shot up I-75 from Bradley County.
 
Regarding Heller, Sweetwater is just a short, straight shot up I-75 from Bradley County.
I called the Police Department a few months ago and left a voicemail and they never returned or emailed me. When I get home from work, I will try to find the ME. There’s not a lot known about the UP, unfortunately. I do think it’s worth looking into.
 
Update: I checked my email and I did submit it to Doe Network, where Heller Sample has a profile. They’re really good about getting the information to law enforcement and such. I sent it back in July.
 
Only one ruleout for this case - MP1092 Kelly Dove VA
 

June 8 2023 rbbm.​

''KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Recently, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that the unidentified remains of 10 people who were at the center of cold cases had been submitted for DNA testing through the TBI’s Unidentified Human Remains DNA Initiative.

The TBI identified 14 cases total that were eligible for the initiative that started in 2022. The Tennessee General Assembly approved a one-time funding of $100,000 to fund the initiative, which the TBI said is specifically being used to identify skeletal remains of victims in cold cases through forensic genetic genealogy testing. Remains from 10 of those individuals have been submitted to Othram Inc., a private lab based in Woodlands, Texas to conduct DNA extraction and sequencing.''

''McMinn County – 1983​

The TBI said the victim, in this case, was a 20- to 30-year-old white woman who was found in McMinn County on August 5, 1983.

According to NamUs, the woman was found by two hunters at the Ore Quarry in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Her body had been wrapped in a bedspread and curtains that were tied with twine, similar to what one might use for hay bailing or on a farm.


NamUs said she had long, curly, medium-brown hair, although her body was in an advanced state of decomposition. It is estimated that she was between 5’1″ and 5’7″. When her body was found, she was wearing a white t-shirt with a green teddy bear design, a white and pink flowered cotton pullover with lace appliqued and with a row of pearl-type buttons halfway down the front.''
 

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