COLUMBIA, Tenn. – The remains of what were tentatively identified as three human fetuses or infants were discovered in the freezer of a woman who was found dead in her home last month.
A family member who was clearing out the apartment discovered the bodies bagged in a freezer Thursday, Detective Lt. Michelle Jones said.
"The cold conditions do certain things to the flesh. It's kind of hard to comment on the age now," Jones said. "These were not like 9-pound babies. They were smaller in nature."
Jones said 35-year-old Tracy Howard lived alone in the apartment. Her body was found there Nov. 28 after co-workers became concerned when she didn't show up for work.
An initial autopsy showed she died of natural causes, but toxicology reports are pending.
"There was no indication from the scene that pointed to investigators that it might be suicide," Jones said. "It appeared natural, even though she was 35."
DNA tests also will be done to determine whether Howard was the mother. The initial autopsy did not indicate she was pregnant, and so far, no one has said she was.
"Ms. Howard was a rather large female, and it probably would not have been as prominent with her as it would have been with a small woman," Jones said.
Detectives planned to interview some of Howard's friends Friday.