28 YEARS LATER: Investigators taking another look at Judy Hughes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

28 YEARS LATER: Investigators taking another look at Judy Hughes' cold case

Posted: Updated:
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A fresh perspective is breathing life into one of Hamilton County's oldest cases. 

Judy Hughes, 38, was reported missing in 1989 from her north Georgia home. 

Later that year, parts of her body were discovered in the Tennessee River. 

For her sister, Charlotte Tawzer, it's been nearly three decades of living without answers. 

"We do, I think about it a lot. Especially birthdays, anniversaries, things like that. I think, what would she be today? I'm sure she would be a good mother. Probably a grandmother," Tawzer said. 

Despite the media coverage and work by law enforcement, the case grew cold. 

Until recently, when Hamilton County's District Attorney's Cold Case Unit decided to take another look. 

It's a case Supervisor Mike Mathis said was unusual from the start. 

"When we looked at it, we felt like we might be able to take it further because of the past work and the technologies have changed, a lot of new forensics are there," he added. 

Mathis brings more than 30 years of experience working these kinds of cases. 

He believes more evidence is out there, just across the state line. 

"We're in touch with our counterparts in Georgia. We're making some plans to work more closely together to share notes and look at jurisdictional issues," Mathis said. 

Sometimes laws can have an impact on the amount of time charges can be filed, but District Attorney Neal Pinkston believes there's a chance statute of limitations may not apply in this case. 

"If you conceal the crime that you've committed, and/or you're absent from the state for long periods of time," Pinkston said, "It could give you more time and an extra opportunity to charge somebody or prosecute somebody."

It's too early to tell but Pinkston said it's an opportunity to help answers surface. 

Answers, he said, Judy's family deserves. 

"It was such a tragic, tragic death and to me it was just kind of a monstrous way that he went about it, whoever it might be," Tawzer said.

If you have information that can help solve Judy's case, call the Cold Case Unit Hotline at 423-209-7470. 

You can also submit tips online by clicking HERE

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
Powered by Frankly