Tennessee cold case victim found dead in 1998 identified as Ohio woman

Lori Alexander, 27, an Ohio woman, was found near a Tennessee creek a month after being reported missing in 1987

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Tennessee officials on Wednesday said they made a breakthrough in a cold case dating back to 1998 by identifying an Ohio woman whose body was found near a creek.

The Knox County Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville said that remains discovered in Campbell County were that of Lori Alexander, 27, a Toledo, Ohio native. She was reported missing in October 1998 and her body was found later that month. 

"No one is forgotten or neglected at the Knox County Regional Forensic Center," Chris Thomas, the center's chief administrative officer, said in a statement. "We work diligently every day to try to identify every decedent and connect them with their next of kin, regardless of how long they've been here."

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The Knox County Regional Forensic Center in Tennessee said they have identified the body of an Ohio woman found dead in 1998 in a creek

The Knox County Regional Forensic Center in Tennessee said they have identified the body of an Ohio woman found dead in 1998 in a creek (Knox County Regional Forensic Center)

Alexander is the second case in which the center has identified a victim from a years-long homicide case, it said. 

In August 2020, it was granted permission to submit prints directly to an FBI database, which allowed for the comparison with digitized fingerprint cards from other jurisdictions across the country. 

Around that time, the forensic center identified Tena Marie Gattrell, a 27-year-old California woman who was killed in Knox County in 1987. 

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"It’s no secret that our Regional Forensic Center is an incredible county asset," Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said. "The staff is skilled and I’m grateful for the care they put into the job they do."