UT: Body Farm helps identify Jane Doe in 30-year-old homicide case

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Over 30 years ago, a woman's body was discovered in Jellico. This year, with the help of a missing persons blog and University of Tennessee's body farm, investigators were able to identify the victim.

On January 1, 1985, TBI Special Agents were asked to to work with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the homicide of a female whose body was found along Interstate 75.

She was listed as a Jane Doe and her body was taken to the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility, known as the Body Farm.

"Her skeletal remains have been part of the laboratory's collection ever since," Lee Meadows Jantz, associate director of the Forensic Anthropology Center, said.

In August of this year, investigators were tipped off to a blog that centered on missing persons cases.

One of the individuals listed on the website was Tina Marie McKenney Farmer, who was reportedly missing from Indiana.

Officials were able to match McKenney's fingerprints to that of the body found in 1985.

According to a release from UT, McKenney's case is not the only cold case the university has worked on over the years.

"Over the past 45 years, UT's Body Farm has received the remains of about 70 unidentified individuals. They have worked to resolve these cold cases for the past 10 years and so far have been able to successfully identify 20 individuals."

Though McKenney has been identified, TBI says the investigation is active and ongoing.