Elderly woman found dead in Sequatchie River - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Elderly woman found dead in Sequatchie River

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A community in Sequatchie County is mourning the loss of one of their beloved, elderly members after she was found dead in the Sequatchie River Monday night.

Pauline Cain, 95, lived in her Sequatchie valley home for more than 60 years. She lived by herself after her husband died two decades ago.

"Her family was one of the pioneers of the valley," Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock says.

Hitchcock called her Aunt Pauline, he's related through marriage. "If you wasn't Aunt Pauline's friend it wasn't her fault it was yours," Hitchcock explains.

Spirited, independent, active; all words used to describe the nearly 96-year-old woman. When she wasn't tending to her chickens you could find her at Ewtonville Baptist Church.

"She inspired me, see her get around. She was very quick witted and just an energetic woman for her age," fellow church member, Ernest Smith says.

However, Cain's independence may have gotten the best of her Monday evening. Her brother called the sheriff's office when he couldn't get her on the phone. That's when the search began.

"So I went out, and I seen her tracks in the snow going down the little trail," Hitchcock says. Deputies found her body in the Sequatchie River later that evening. Its about a tenth of a mile walk from her house.

"Apparently she slipped into the water. We don't know whether she died from hypothermia, drowned or what," says Hitchcock.

He believes Cain was getting water to take to her chickens. "She cared about her chickens and I think she cared about people like that too," says Smith.

Cain will be laid to rest Friday as those closest to her prepare to move forward without her. "It will be a great void, every Sunday to not see her," Smith says.

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