Investigators still awaiting autopsy results in Woods murder

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   Investigators are still waiting for autopsy results on the body of Roberta Woods before they continue an investigation into her death.
   "Until I get everything back from (the Quillen College of Medicine) I'm at a standstill," Carter County Sheriff John Henson said Monday.
   Henson said the autopsy has been delayed due to the holidays.
   Henson hoped the autopsy report to determine cause of death would arrive in time to allow investigators to present the case to a Carter County Grand Jury, which met on Monday to obtain an indictment in the case. "What I think I'll do is ask the D.A. (District Attorney) to have a special called Grand Jury to get an indictment," he said.
   Henson said he hopes results from the autopsy arrive soon, not just so that investigators can proceed but also so Woods' relatives can have some closure in the matter. "I would like to apologize to the family for this taking so long," he said.
   Woods' body was discovered on Dec. 12 by her son, Scotty Woods, inside a residence Mrs. Woods owned and rented out at 381 Bear Branch Rd., Roan Mountain.
   The woman who rented the residence from Woods, Connie Ruth Hughes, 44, 369 Garrison Hollow Rd., has been charged with abuse of a corpse and filing a false report in connection with Woods' death. Hughes is currently being held without bond in the Carter County Jail.
   Woods, who was 59 at the time, disappeared in January of this year and was reported missing on Jan. 14 by members of her family. Investigators believe her body was in the Roan Mountain residence since the time of her disappearance.
   Her body was found wrapped in carpet, plastic and duct tape and was stored underneath a water bed and surrounded with moth balls. According to Henson, the body was stored under the plywood that holds the waterbed mattress in place. Investigators had to dismantle the bed to retrieve Woods' body.