Teen girl’s body found in Monteagle parking lot

The discovery of a teenage girl's body in the parking lot of a Monteagle, Tennessee, restaurant is being investigated by the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The body of the girl was found Sunday morning in the 1200 block of West Main Street, west of Interstate 24 at the top of Monteagle Mountain, according to a statement from TBI spokesperson Leslie Earhart.

(READ MORE: Woman dead, husband jailed after shooting in Sequatchie County)

"Her body has been sent for an autopsy," Earhart said.

The girl, 16, is believed to originally be from Guatemala, Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said.

"She was spotted by an off-duty Franklin County deputy," Burnett said in a phone interview. "She was lying on her back in the middle of the parking lot."

Over the weekend, District Attorney General Courtney Lynch asked the TBI to assist the Marion County Sheriff's Office in the probe of the circumstances leading to the girl's death. Investigators did not say whether foul play was suspected.

The TBI is the lead investigating agency, Burnett said. It's unknown how long the body was in the parking lot before being seen.

(READ MORE: Monteagle's iconic 1960-era Jim Oliver's Smoke House burns to the ground)

Earhart said the joint investigation remains active and ongoing.

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

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