Roane County sheriff says Loudon County remains don't match cold cases


By ERICA ESTEP-6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton says Monday he has ruled out a match between the female skeletal remains found in Loudon County on January 19 and cold cases in his county.

Stockton says the sheriff's office has ruled out that the remains match a missing woman named Karen Beard.

Roane County also has a cold case for Cheryl Payne from December 2003. Payne went missing after she and her boyfriend left the Big Orange Bar in Harriman and had a fight.

Sheriff Stockton says he's convinced the found remains are not Payne either.

Two men were looking for scrap metal in Loudon County January 19 on Eblen Road when they checked a fallen shed and found a comforter wrapped around sun-bleached bones and a skull. The find was near the Roane County line.

The remains are a female approximately 25-35 years old and the body had been there maybe 10-15 years, according to Loudon County Chief Deputy Tony Aikens.

"We're comparing some dental records with some other cold cases in neighboring counties in hopes of finding out who she was," Aikens said.

The body was found on a wooded piece of land that spans more than 55-acres on Eblen Road.

We tracked down the property owner, Howard Eblen. "Well, I'm glad they did the right thing, but they were out of order being there," he said of the men who made the discovery.

Eblen hasn't lived on the property for more than 60 years although it was once his family's farm. He says the house burned down several years ago, and the pile of tin where the woman's body was found, "...was a corn crib and had a shed on each side. One of them kept tools and the other kept the car in it."

This is the second time a woman's body has been found on Eblen's property. The last time was in 2004. An arrest was made in that case, and detectives don't believe the two cases are related.

"That happens all over the world, I guess, all the time," said Eblen, "but it's bad when it's brought home to you."

Loudon County investigators are working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. They hope, with a complete autopsy report, to have answers to this mystery soon.