CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Cold Case Unit of the Knox County Sheriff's Office in Knoxville is attempting to identify a woman murdered in 1987. Based on new evidence by the Smithsonian, it is possible she was from this region.

The woman, known as Jane Doe, was shot and killed June 1, 1987. Officers worry that her family still does not have closure or even know what happened to her. As an adult, she may have never been reported missing. Even if she was reported as missing, the report may not still be validated in the National Criminal Information System (NCIC), according to a news release from the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Facts of the Case

The woman, believed to be in her 20s, was picked up by some commercial drivers at the truck stop on I-81 in Bulls Gap, TN.  They took her to a party at a home on Stanley Road where she was shot and killed later that night. While the people behind her death did go to court, the victim herself has never been identified, the release stated.

The woman had the initials "BH" tattooed on her upper left arm and a scar on her abdomen possibly from a c-section or a hysterectomy. She also had several healed fractures that could be consistent with a car accident and she had a metal plate in one of her legs from the injuries.

New testing

The Knox County Sheriff's Office recently had help from the Smithsonian to narrow a possible region where the unidentified woman could have lived as a child. The Smithsonian Institution Stable Isotop Mass Spectrometry Lab in Maryland recently tested a tooth sample and analyzed it to pinpoint the region where the person grew up.  It is based off the plants she ate, the water that she drank, rainwater, and the dust that she breathed. The hope is that the public will see the age regression photos showing what the victim probably looked like as a child.

The tests that the Smithsonian Institution conducted on the unidentified woman show that she may have spent significant time in the central-southeastern United States.  The data indicates a broad region where the woman may have spent a lot of time.  Scientists believe she may have been from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, or Florida.

How to help

If you have any information regarding the unidentified white female, please contact Detective Amy Dobbs with the Knox County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit at 865-215-3705.