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Authorities in Etowah, Tenn., and the TBI hope a medical exam can determine the identity of a woman whose body was found Tuesday.

Susan Niland, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said in an email that a local resident discovered the body off the side of Charles Street, a two-block-long lane that links Pennsylvania and Georgia avenues, crossing Athens Pike midway in the center of the town.

The TBI is involved in two probes in Etowah that may or may not be linked.

On Saturday, the Etowah Police Department opened a missing person investigation after a report was filed for 18-year-old Kelsey Burnette, Niland said.

"The TBI was assisting on that investigation," Niland said in the email.

"On Tuesday, a citizen reported discovering a body off the side of the road on Charles Street in Etowah," Niland said.

"At the request of 10th District Attorney General Steve Crump, TBI Agents responded and opened a death investigation, with the assistance of the Etowah Police Department and McMinn County Sheriff's Office," she said. "A positive identification of the deceased female has not yet been made, pending verification by the medical examiner's office."

Niland would not say whether the investigation into Burnette's disappearance was related to the discovery of the body.

The investigation remains "active and ongoing," Niland said.

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

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