Body found Sunday thought to be missing mother
(WRCB) -- There are new developments in the case of a missing Chattanooga woman. Sunday, police believe they found the body of 25-year-old Erika Whaley.
The mother of four has been missing for five months. She was last seen getting into a red pickup truck with an unknown man at a battered women's shelter on September 15th. She was reported missing by her family December 16th.
Acting on a tip sent into the missing person's unit, Chattanooga Police entered this home on Ocoee street just after one o'clock Sunday afternoon.
"They found a body inside the residence," says Officer Nathan Hartwig with Chattanooga Police.
The body, investigators say, is believed to be that of 25 year old Erika Whaley.
"The house is that of her grandfather's, who passed away earlier last year," says Hartwig.
The house has been boarded up since March of 2011.
Erika went missing September 15th. The mother of four boys was last seen getting into a red truck with an unknown man outside a women's shelter for battered women.
Saturday, Erika's mother, Letitia Curtis, and sister, Sandra Lowrance, made an urgent plea for information.
"I just want somebody to come and let us know what it is, where's she's at, what's happened," said Curtis.
Sunday, she and Sandra were at the scene, visibly upset.
They told Channel 3 Erika had been known to go off on her own sometimes but always maintained contact with her sons. That is why they knew something was not right.
"There's a high probability that it is Erika, but again, that has not been confirmed yet," says Hartwig.
Now it is up to crime scene investigators to piece together what may have happened.
"They've been out here processing the scene, and we'll get a lot of answers put together," he says.
Answers that can not come soon enough for Erika's family.
Again, police can not confirm if the body found is Erika Whaley.
Investigators say the body, which looks to be female, is decomposed and will have to undergo an autopsy for positive identification.