Body found in Roan Mountain home

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   A strange smell in a Roan Mountain residence on Friday night led to the discovery of the body of a woman which was hidden underneath a bed in the residence and investigators believe may be the remains of a Carter County woman who has been missing for nearly a year.
   "We do have a body and it is believed to be the body of Roberta Woods," said Carter County Sheriff John Henson, who added that a positive identification of the body had not yet been made on Saturday but that he was 75 percent sure it was Woods.
   Woods, who was 59 at the time of her disappearance, was reported missing in January of this year by family in Washington County. The last place which Woods had been seen was in Carter County. Woods is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
   Family members advised police at the time of Woods' disappearance that it would be out of character for her to leave without notifying someone. Woods did not suffer from physical ailments or impairments, according to family members.
   Elzy Caraway, of Elizabethton, who identified himself as Woods' first cousin, told the Star in February that a relative talked to Woods on the telephone in mid-January. That was the last contact family members had with her, according to Caraway.
   The female's body was located at a residence on Bear Branch Road near the Tennessee-North Carolina border in the Roan Mountain community. According to Henson, investigators were called to the residence on Friday and the body was discovered around 9 or 9:30 p.m. that night. "One of the sons (of the person that owned the residence) came to the residence and smelled a strong odor," Henson said, adding that the man then notified authorities. "We came to the scene and found the body under a water bed and it was very well preserved."
   Henson said on Saturday afternoon that no time of death had been established for the woman but that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's mobile crime lab had been dispatched and arrived on the scene around noon Saturday to begin processing the scene.