Elderly woman’s body discovered in Roan Mountain creek
Published 5:29 pm Saturday, August 8, 2015
Police are investigating the discovery of a woman’s body Friday morning in a creek in the Roan Mountain community.
On Friday morning, officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Carter County Rescue Squad recovered the body of 66-year-old Molly Woodruff from the shallow waters of Hampton Creek near the intersection of Teaberry Road and Hampton Creek Road.
“There is no foul play suspected,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said. “She was last seen last night around 6:30 p.m. and was found this morning around 9 a.m. by her home health nurse.”
When the nurse arrived at Woodruff’s Roan Mountain home this morning she found her patient was missing and began looking for her, Lunceford said. “The lady’s dog actually led the home health nurse to the body,” he said.
The woman’s body was found lying in the creek just off the side of the road and her motorized wheelchair was found next to her.
“It appears she was out for a stroll on her motorized wheelchair when, for whatever reason, she just veered off the side of the road and into the creek,” Lunceford said. “There were no scuff marks on the road or on the chair so it doesn’t appear that she was hit or anything.”
“It appears to just be a horrible accident,” he added.
Even though foul play is not suspected, Lunceford said an autopsy has been ordered. Woodruff’s body was taken to the Quillen College of Medicine for examination.
It is unclear at this time if Woodruff fell from the chair into the creek and drowned or if she may have passed away while sitting in the chair and then her body fell into the creek, Lunceford said. An autopsy will help reveal more about the circumstances surrounding her death.
The investigation into Woodruff’s death is ongoing at this time, Lunceford said.