Investigators may be close to solving a local case involving Sam Little
Tennessee Valley investigators may be closer than ever to solving one of the area's oldest cold cases.
Samuel Little, who the FBI now calls the nation's most prolific serial killer, confessed to killing more than 90 women, including a woman in the Tennessee Valley.
Since then, investigators have been trying to identify her.
Investigators have received somewhere between one and two dozen tips since they released a sketch and clay rendering of Jane Doe.
They told Channel 3 on Tuesday, one of those tips may solve the case.
More than a year has passed since Mike Mathis sat across from the man the FBI calls the worst serial killer in U.S. history.
"Of all the people I've talked to about homicides, being suspects, witnesses, whatever, he was uniquely different," Mathis told Channel 3.
Little has confessed to more than 90 murders across the country, including one in the Tennessee Valley. He is currently serving three life sentences in a Texas prison.
"We have a very good lead. However, it's going to take some time," Mathis added.
The only problem? They don't know who she is but they may be closer to that answer than ever before.
In March, investigators released a clay rendering of Jane Doe and almost immediately, a family came forward.
"A family of a missing lady contacted our office. We met with them here. We obtained DNA samples from those family members," Mathis said.
Mathis oversees Hamilton County's Cold Case Unit and said information from that family fit the 38-year-cold case.
The body of the African American woman, believed to be in her 20s, was found in a wooded area off of I-24 in Dade County.
It sat for more than three decades, until last year, when Little confessed to the crime.
"Described her. Described the club, the encounter that he had with her and that immediately upon her getting in his car he decided she was his next victim," he added.
Now investigators hope DNA testing will reveal who she is.
"We're taking DNA samples from of the persons we feel might be part of the family or may be a family relative to try and do some connection there," Special Agent Joe Montgomery with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.
Investigators also hope to give her family the closure they deserve.
"It's a good lead. We feel good about it. But we don't have a positive identification," Mathis added.
If the clay rendering looks familiar to you or if you have any information that can help investigators in the case, they want to talk to you.
Call the Hamilton County Cold Case Unit Tip Line at 423-209-7470 or click here to send an e-mail.
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