With her sister's ring on her finger, watch on her wrist, and picture hanging above her desk, Shannon Hercutt is never far from Penny Stephens' mind.
"It's just been a nightmare," Stephens said. "This was not supposed to happen."
On Aug. 3, 2009, Hercutt's body was found in her SUV down a 125-foot embankment off Walker Trail in Sevier County.
Troopers who first responded to the crash believed her death was an accident.
But Hercutt was not wearing a seatbelt, and her window was down, which raised suspicions with family members.
Investigators later discovered evidence of a struggle at Hercutt's home, and, finally, an autopsy confirmed the 40-year-old's death was a homicide.
But nearly one year later, the case remains unsolved.
"Even though it's frustrating, it's not terminal. We work on it every day," District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said.
Dunn said investigators are now hinging some hope on the results of new testing.
With the help of more than $10,000 in grant money that Knox County secured to assist agencies around the region, Dunn says investigators have sent evidence to a private, out-of-state lab for DNA testing. Some of the items sent were previously tested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's state lab; other items have never before been tested.
"We've done testing, and it's good, but then, they can go even further on the same material and additional materials that we have in order to obtain evidence," Dunn said.
The district attorney general is hopeful that the new testing will reveal new information, perhaps even point toward the person responsible for Hercutt's death.
"Some cases are easier to solve because more clues are left or there's just folks that talk," Dunn said. "We haven't ruled out anybody in this case. None of our investigation has excluded anybody. We're still looking at everybody. Everybody's a suspect."
One man who says the finger has been pointed at him is Hercutt's father, Ted Hercutt.
"I'd never have anything to do with murdering one of my children, murdering anybody, and for people to be that gutty and ugly to be saying things like that, I know where they'll be going, and it ain't gonna be heaven," Hercutt said.
Hercutt says he has been both angered and hurt by the accusations that have swirled around him over the past year.
He denies having any involvement in his daughter's death, although he readily admits their relationship was strained because of an ongoing financial and real estate dispute.
"Things that me and her went through, it was bad, I can't make up to her, whether it was my fault or her fault," he said. "It's just hard to sit there and realize the good times you wasted."
That strained relationship was evident in Shannon Hercutt's will. In it, she wrote, "It is my specific intent that neither my father, Ted Hercutt, nor his spouse inherit anything from my estate."
Still, Ted Hercutt filed a claim against the estate, asking to be repaid more than $1,100 for the flowers that topped his daughter's casket and more than $200 for the wig she wore that day.
He says he did not pick out the flowers that day and was told the estate would pay for everything.
"Well, I'm married," Ted Hercutt said. "(My wife is) not her mother, that's her money, too. And then, also, I wouldn't have spent $1,200 for the roses anyway."
That dispute is just one example of the ongoing turmoil within the family.
Ted Hercutt is also now estranged from his other daughter, Penny Stephens, who, along with cousin John Madewell, is helping run her sister's business, Auntie Belham's Realty and Nightly Rentals.
While Stephens has been supportive of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and its investigation, Ted Hercutt has been extremely critical.
"It will never be resolved, you watch and see, because, even if they pick somebody to arrest them, it's been so messed up, they will never get a conviction," he said.
Dunn admits mistakes were made in the early stages of the investigation, including the moving of Shannon Hercutt's body from her SUV too quickly, but he feels confident the case can still be solved.
Last month, he enlisted the help of the Vidocq Society, a group of forensic professionals and private citizens that looks into cold cases. Dunn says the group has helped lead the investigation in new directions.
"I know they're going to find out who did it, I'm not worried at all that we aren't going to find out, we are going to find out who did it," Stephens said.
Stephens is still recovering from a very difficult two years.
She lost her sister less than one year after her mother's death. The two women are now buried next to each other in a cemetery not far from Auntie Belham's new office.
Stephens said the employees there are working to keep her sister's dream business a success, despite the challenges, including the day last November when someone shot out the windows at the office.
Despite those tough times, Stephens said she is coping a bit better now that nearly a year has passed and is confident she will see justice for her sister, no matter how long it takes.
"I wish it was like the shows on TV that they find it in an hour or so, but it is not that easy, and it doesn't mean that the sheriff's department is not doing their job," she said. "I've got my theories, everybody's got their theories, but we'll just never know until that final day."