OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Officials said Wednesday that divers found a car deep inside Melton Hill Lake that has been linked to a missing person case that is more than a decade-and-a-half old. On Thursday, they said that human remains had been found inside the car.
Investigators and the Medical Examiner's Office were working to process the vehicle and identify the remain, officials said. They could not say how long it would take to identify the remains
The Oak Ridge Police Department said that the car was linked to the July 2005 Miriam Ruth Hemphill missing persons case. They said the car belonged to Hemphill, but officials said it was not clear if the remains found in the car were hers.
Officials said that by 8 p.m. Wednesday, the car had been pulled out of the water. The Blount Special Operations Response Team helped recover the vehicle. The Oak Ridge Fire Department also helped investigators with processing and deconstruction while crews sorted through the silt and mud.
According to the divers and to The Charley Project, Hemphill was last seen driving a beige or bronze-colored 1999 Buick LeSabre with the license plate number ABA-676.
She was 84 years old, according to The Charley Project, which profiled thousands of cold cases across the U.S.