How detectives identified human remains of Maury Co. mother
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WSMV) - It took years and thousands of dollars for Maury County detectives to identify a woman they found in the woods.
Detectives with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department says this case was unlike any they’ve seen. They say a big family tree made it difficult to figure out the remains belonged to Amanda Newcomb.
They found her skeleton in a remote area of Maury County off Hood Road. Lt. Sam Voss says they didn’t have a clue who it was when they found the body in 2020, so they sent the remains to a private lab in Texas.
“They had to extract DNA from the bone which is a lengthy expensive process,” says Voss.
The process matched the DNA to a great-grandparent and the rest was up to the detectives.
“Basically, trying to reconstruct a family tree out of hundreds of people,” Voss explains.
By doing so, they landed on Newcomb, and they say it made sense.
“There was no activity of any type after 2018 from her,” says Voss. “Social media stopped; other things stopped.”
Voss says to confirm his findings, he found Newcomb’s family, including her daughter, and collected their DNA.
“They had never reported her missing, didn’t realize she was missing to that extent,” he says. “She wasn’t really close to her family, kind of stayed distant and I think they thought she was probably staying distant like she always had.”
But no matter the distance, they still wanted closure. So, when Voss matched the family’s DNA to Newcomb’s he told them right away.
“Matter of fact I got the call on a Thursday night probably at 6 o’clock from the lab to confirm it and we actually came back in that night to go straight to their house to say, ‘Hey, this is who it is,’” says Voss.
No cause of death has been determined yet. Anyone who associated with or knew Newcomb is asked to call the Maury County Sheriff’s Department.
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