published Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Burned body found in Franklin County identified

Franklin County authorities have released the identity of the woman whose body was found burning on the side of Awalt Road northwest of Winchester, Tenn., by a passing motorist early Monday.

The body was identified as that of Erika Megan Sharpton, 24, of 109 Camellia Circle, Tullahoma, Tenn., Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Guess said today.

Guess said the death has been officially ruled homicide and an investigation is ongoing.

Authorities are seeking Sharpton’s missing red 1995 Ford Mustang which is now considered stolen, he said. The license plate is 533-SBB.

Sharpton’s body was found about 1:18 a.m. CDT Monday near the Awalt Bridge over Tims Ford Lake, officials said.

Her body was found by a motorist who had spotted what they thought to be a grass fire, but when the driver turned around to check it out, the body was still burning and surrounding by flaming grass, Guess said.

The body was in a grassy area near a narrow pull-off on the north side of Awalt Road near the west end of the bridge, he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Detective Todd Hindman at 931-962-0123 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-824-3463 (1-800-TBI-FIND).

about Ben Benton...

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 ...

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