Body found behind gas station
Chatt “Junior” Brady was working amid piles of topsoil and other materials at his excavating business Tuesday when he saw a dead woman’s nude body on his property.
The body lay on the gravel lot behind a BP station less than a quarter-mile off Interstate 40 at exit 329 in the Crab Orchard area of Cumberland County.
She had been “laid out straight” and appeared to have been run over, Brady said Thursday. A lot of blood had been spilled about 40 feet away, and a red trail led to the body. The gravel between the spill and the corpse looked “raked,” he said.
“We got out there and called 911 and they said, ‘Don’t let anybody in there,’” he said. Brady’s workers moved all the company equipment out of the way of investigators they knew would be pouring in, he said.
Now state and Cumberland County authorities hope someone in the area can help identify the woman.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the woman is believed to have been in her 20s or 30s. A tattoo on her right calf shows flowers weaving among three butterflies that have the years “2000,” “2001” and “2005” printed on their right wings and names on their left wings, according to the TBI.
The body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Nashville for an autopsy, TBI officials said.
“We don’t believe she had been there very long,” Helm said Thursday.
Brady was still shaken on Thursday.
“What’s sad about it, she might have been somebody’s mother, and she was somebody’s daughter,” he said.
BP store clerk Jamie Dannels said Thursday that she’s unnerved by the grisly discovery behind the store where she has worked for 14 months.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...