Human remains find leads to Loudon County homicide investigation

Human remains find leads to Loudon County homicide investigation

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The men found the remains in this fallen shed. The men found the remains in this fallen shed.
The area used to the home of the Eblen family. The area used to the home of the Eblen family.

LOUDON (WATE) - The Loudon County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Thursday night discovery of female human remains as a homicide.

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Murray Marks, with the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center, identified the skeletal remains as a female. The age and race are unknown.

Sheriff Tim Guider said two men were looking for scrap metal Thursday night on Eblen Road. It's between Old Kingston Highway and Dutton.

The men were in an area 200 feet off the road when they discovered a tin shed that had fallen over.

The sheriff said the men checked the shed and found a comforter with what looked like a sun-bleached bone protruding from it. When they checked the comforter, a skull rolled out of it. They called the sheriff's office around 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Marks believes the body was in that location for several years.

"It appeared there was an old home place. The home has fallen. The shed has also fallen. It appears that maybe the body was inside the shed, the way it looks right now. The shed has fallen over. We're still very preliminary," Sheriff Guider explained.

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton came to the scene because it's near the Roane-Loudon County line. He says there are at least two missing female cases that go back several years. Stockton's staff has been working these as cold cases.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also assisting the sheriff's office at the scene. A TBI agent took dental and bone fragments to have DNA tested by the FBI lab. The information can be entered and compared in the national DNA database.

The remains were taken to UT for an autopsy.

The property where the remains were found used to be the Eblen family homestead. Neighbor Robert Slaten says the area hasn't changed since he moved there.

"This has been this way since we've moved here and that's almost nine years. It's collapsed a little bit more, but it's always been collapsed. I have walked over here with my dog," Slaten said.

Eblen Road was reopened to traffic on Friday.

There was also a homicide investigation on Eblen Road in 2004. Sheriff Guider says a woman's body was found about 200 feet from where Thursday's remains were found. The victim was shot and her body was dumped there.

George Thomas was convicted for the slaying. He's serving a life sentence in federal prison.

6 News Reporter Samantha Saracino contributed to this report.

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