published Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Body in Nickajack Lake that of Chickamauga woman

Marion County and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents are still sorting out what happened to a Chickamauga, Ga., woman whose body was found by a fisherman Saturday morning in Nickajack Lake.

The body of Shanna Leigh, 50, was found around 8 a.m. floating not far from the U.S. Highway 41 bridge, and her black Chevrolet pickup truck was discovered in a boat ramp parking lot at nearby Marion County Park, Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said Monday.

"We haven't determined a cause of death," Burnett said. "We're waiting to hear from the medical examiner's office in Nashville."

The highway is barricaded at the park entrance because of ongoing construction of a replacement bridge for the aging U.S. 41 bridge.

Burnett said authorities haven't determined whether anyone was with Leigh, and she had not been reported to authorities as missing.

Leigh's truck was not pulling a boat trailer, and there was no indication why she was at the boat ramp, he said.

Burnett said Leigh's body was probably in the water "a fairly short period of time."

The TBI was unable to release any further details Monday.

"At this point, I can only confirm we're investigating the discovery of a woman's body discovered in the lake this weekend. Details are very preliminary," TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said in an email.

Leigh's body was found by an angler during a fishing tournament involving 100 boats or more on Saturday morning, the sheriff said.

"We don't have much information to go on," Burnett said.

Anyone who saw or heard anything related to Leigh's death near the Marion County Park area Friday night or early Saturday is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 423-942-5667.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

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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