BREAKING: Remains found on Lookout Mtn identified as Justine Mar - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Remains found on Lookout Mtn identified as Justine Marie Creech

Posted: Updated:
Terry and Justine “Marie” Creech in a family photo. Terry and Justine “Marie” Creech in a family photo.
DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Remains found next to van on Lookout Mtn. have been positively identified as those of Justine Marie Creech.


PREVIOUS STORY: A memorial service is scheduled for a missing Dade County woman whose remains were allegedly discovered last week.

The service was set for 2:00 p.m. on February 14th at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Highway 11 in Trenton, GA.


PREVIOUS STORY: We are learning more about the missing woman's van and human remains that were found last week in Dade County.

A hiker made the discovery Wednesday along Lookout Mountain just below a bluff on Scenic Highway.

It didn't take investigators long to determine that the van belonged to Justine “Marie” Creech, a Trenton woman who's been missing for seven months.

The woman who made the discovery is only speaking with Channel 3. She's asked us not to show her face.

Sandra Stone looks over what's become known to locals as “Insurance Bluff,” an area she's known for more than 25 years.

“I had seen it for years and decided I wanted to walk up that way,” she said.

Stone decided to go for a hike in an area that's earned its nickname from the graveyard of cars below. We decided to check it out ourselves and quickly learned it's not a place that's seen many hikers.

“It's rough terrain, you have to go up at a zig-zag, or you get really out of breath. You have to be careful, it's rocky,” she said.

After 40  minutes, we reached a number of forgotten cars. One of them, Stone described, caught her eye.

“That's the only vehicle I noticed that had a tag on it and I thought, oh that's weird,” she said.

It was a gold Chrysler minivan, a similar one to a family member. Stone inched closer before stopping to catch her breath.

“When I sat down, I started looking. And there was.. The back of it,” she said.

Many, including Stone, believe they belong to Justine “Marie” Creech.

“It kind of breaks my heart because she had been there for seven months, just lying there waiting,” she said.

Stone never had ties to Marie or her family, but hopes the discovery helps to give them closure.

The remains are still in the Crime Lab in Atlanta being positively identified.


PREVIOUS STORY: A hiker made the discovery on Burkhalter Gap Road in Dade County.

Police have not identified the body, but the husband of Justine "Marie" Creech, a bus driver missing for several months, says he believes the remains are his wife's.

Investigators say they are working to piece together why Marie's van went over that bluff.

Family members tell Channel 3 Marie wasn't a stranger to the area where her van was found because it's where she once lived.

In fact investigators even searched the area when she first went missing, but found nothing.

We sat down with Marie's husband last month about his wife's disappearance.

Terry Creech, Marie's husband, "She went downstairs, she left the door open. She took nothing with her other than a set of keys, maybe she went down there to get something and there may have been a person in the back of that van that we didn't see?"

Investigators found two sets of keys on the scene, one set in the ignition, the other outside of the van.

The remains have been sent to the GBI crime lab in Atlanta where they will use DNA and dental records for positive identification.


PREVIOUS STORY: Family members tell Channel 3 investigators believe remains found in Dade County belong to a woman who went missing from Trenton seven months ago.

A hiker found a van and skull Wednesday afternoon along Lookout Mountain. Dade County investigators confirm the remains are human.

Investigators work around rough terrain to carefully process the scene where this gold mangled van was found alongside Lookout Mountain.

Investigators confirm the vehicle belongs to Justine “Marie” Creech, who was last seen in June driving away from her Trenton home.

READ MORE | New information in search for missing GA woman

Marie's husband sat down exclusively with Channel 3 about his wife's disappearance last month.

“She went downstairs, she left the door open. She took nothing with her other than a set of keys. Maybe she went down there to get something and there may have been a person in the back of that van that we didn't see?” Terry Creech said.

Investigators found two sets of keys at the scene. One set in the ignition, another set outside of the van.

Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross says a human skull was also found near one of van's rear tires. The rest of the remains were found as investigators dug underneath the wreckage.

“There's a straight drop off from Highway 189, which is Scenic Highway, which is right off the top [of the mountain]. [The van] is about halfway from Burkehalter Gap Road to the top [of the mountain],” Cross added.

Investigators aren't sure how long the remains and van have been here, but believe the van went off the side of this bluff on Scenic Highway.

Family members say Marie knew this area well because it's where she once lived.

“They always ask, wanting to know has anything come of what happened, do you know what happened to her? And we haven't had any more information,” Terry added.

As investigators search for clues, Marie's family waits to find out if she's finally been found.

The remains have been sent to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta where investigators will positively identify them using DNA and dental records.


PREVIOUS STORY: Investigators with the Dade County Sheriff's Office are at the scene where human remains have been found off Burkhalter Gap Road near Lookout Mountain, GA Wednesday afternoon.

A hiker found a gold colored Chrysler van on its side off the side of the mountain.  Outside the van near the rear tire a human skull was discovered. 

The van matches the description of the van driven by missing Trenton woman Justine Marie Creech.

READ MORE | New information in search for missing GA woman

A family member of Creech tells our crew on the scene that investigators have told them, they believe the remains are those of Ms. Creech. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime scene unit and the Dade County Sheriff's Office special operations unit are both onsite as the investigation gets underway.

On Monday, the body of a woman was found at a scrap metal recycling center off South Highland Park Avenue in Chattanooga. 

Powered by Frankly