A shocking discovery at an antique store may help police solve a cold case. A human jawbone, found at an estate sale, is unearthing some old mysteries.
The discovery in an old box at a Dickson antique mall has some speculating the bone might be the remains of one of two women who have been missing from the area for a very long time.
And the discovery brings up both hope and dread - hope for families with missing people that this is finally it, and dread of course that this is finally it.
Sixty different vendors sell everything you can put a price tag on at the Yesterday's Treasures antique mall in downtown Dickson, but when a box brought in from an estate sale contained a jawbone, well, that is a new category of unexpected.
"There was one tooth in it, and we all just kind of decided it should go to police just in case," Tabitha Hux, with Yesterday's Treasures, said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed Monday the jawbone is human, and now Dickson County police are trying to follow the bone back to where it came from - a recent estate sale.
That estate sale occurred on a farm, so it could just be a case where the bone was accidentally dug up and placed into a box.
"We started thinking, well what if that was my daughter or my mother. And there's a chance that it could be something that's ancient, but we didn't want to take a chance on that," Hux said.
Two local families couldn't agree more.
Leanne Green was sitting in her car that was out of gas while her brother ran to a gas station. He was gone just eight minutes, and 18-year-old Leanne disappeared. That was 1987.
Forty miles away, Sheila Bradford also disappeared from the face of the Earth. Wednesday will be the 19th anniversary of her disappearance. Her daughter Kristie Downing has been tortured by every discovery of body parts since 1992.
"Anytime they found a body in the river, or a Jane Doe or anything that comes up, all the kids in school would come up to me and say 'I heard they found your mother.' And it would just be like knives going through you," Downing said.
Bradford disappeared in Camden, TN after she went to the TBI for protection from her boyfriend.
Kristie Downing wants more than a discovery - she wants justice.
"There's good days and bad days, just like any grief. With our grief, it's just still an open book that you can never close," she said.
This jawbone could be a 100 years old, or it could be Stone Box Indian, we don't know. But when we do find out we'll let everyone know.
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