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Update: Megan Maxwell family members react to skull discovery

9:26 AM, Nov 5, 2010   |    comments
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Megan Maxwell's mother had one of the most emotional days since her daughter's disappearance on April 26, 2009. Investigators talked to her about the discovery of bones found in the woods near the road where Megan's burned car had been found.

"It could be [Megan]," Lisa Maxwell said. "It was the area her car was around. So it could be."

Just ten days ago, Lisa Maxwell made a plea to local hunters to look out for anything suspicious which might lead to new information about Megan's whereabouts.

"It gets harder everyday," she had said in an interview then.

But now, she may receive new information.  Investigators will be checking out the identity of the remains. 

Family friend Randy Lane, who has been heading the search for Megan's body, talked about the long-sought discovery.

"Having seen that area now, it would've definitely been a good location to search for the remains for her body at the time," Lane said. "I'm fairly certain we had searchers in that area searching, they just apparently missed it."

Megan's family and friends visited the investigation scene Thursday, but the mother hasn't stopped by. She said it would be too hard right now, and she's waiting at home to hear more from investigators.

"I'm numb feeling," the mother said.

Lisa Maxwell said she'll probably have another sleepless night.

Megan's sister, Stephanie, had mixed feelings about the discovery.

"I'm worried about her [Lisa Maxwell]," she said. "Scared. I don't know if I want this to be Megan or not. I guess this is what we've been waiting so long for, but it just feels weird."

Megan's family is hopeful that something good will come out of the discovery.

"I hope they [investigators] can do the best job they can do and find out who this is," Lisa Maxwell said. "If it's Megan or it's not, it's somebody."

The Cocke County Sheriff's Department met with Lisa Maxwell at her house late Thursday to talk about the investigation, but the family said they didn't learn any more information.

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Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes says it's too early to tell if the human remains found on Ponderosa Road between Del Rio and Parrotsville are those of 19 year old Megan Maxwell.

"I don't want to give a family false hope, then it turnout to not be Megan Maxwell.  I want them to have closure, they deserve closure," Fontes said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as well as deputies from the Greene and Cocke County Sheriff's Departments combed through the side of that rural road Thursday afternoon.  The spot is somewhere around one mile away from a stretch of highway where police found Maxwell's car badly burned in April 2009.

Fontes said a man walking his dog saw the remains and called dispatchers.

"Based on what we've found, I'm surprised someone did not notice where this body was located," Fontes said.

Along with a skull and other bones, the Sheriff said they also found clothing and other items but would not comment further what gender the clothing would be associated with.

 

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A TBI spokesperson says a skull has been found in a rural, wooded area of Cocke County.  Officials on the scene say the skull was located less than a mile from where it is believed Megan Maxwell disappeared.

TBI says the skull was found off Ponderosa Road near Parrottsville.  UT forensic experts will try to identify the remains.  Its been taken to the University of Tennessee Anthropology Department to see if they can identify it.  Searchers are looking for more remains Thursday.

Officials have not confirmed the skull belongs to Megan Maxwell.  Officials say she is the only person reported missing in Cocke County.

Megan Maxwell, 19, was last seen on, April 26, 2009, after checking in on her father early that morning.   Her burning car was found on the side of the road.  The skull was about a mile away from that location.

Since then, searchers have combed the surrounding area for any sign of the missing woman. 

No arrests have ever been made in connection with Maxwell's disappearance, though Jeffrey Lee Stock has been called the top suspect.

Authorities have not charged Stock with any crimes in the Maxwell case. However, the investigation led to the discovery that Stock was convicted of a sexual offense in Indiana and failed to register as a sex offender when he moved to Tennessee.

Stock pleaded guilty to violating the Sex Offender Registration Act. He is currently serving a six year prison sentence. 

 

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