Investigators await autopsy results for Roberta Woods

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
Investigators are waiting for autopsy results on the body of Roberta Woods before they continue an investigation into her death, Carter County Sheriff John Henson said Thursday.
"It will probably be Friday or the first of the week before we get anything back. I'm just waiting to get something from them and then I want to take this to the Grand Jury and get an indictment," Henson said. He said investigators are still interviewing witnesses in the case.
Woods' body was discovered on Dec. 12 by her son, Scotty Woods, inside a residence Mrs. Woods owned and rented out located at 381 Bear Branch Rd., Roan Mountain.
The woman who rented the residence from Woods, Connie Ruth Hughes, 44, 369 Garrison Hollow Road, has been charged with abuse of a corpse and filing a false report in connection with Woods' death. Hughes was arraigned in court earlier this week and is currently being held without bond in the Carter County Jail.
Woods, age 59 at the time, disappeared in January of this year and was reported missing on Jan. 14 by members of her family. Investigators believe that her body has been 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. "It was completely sealed in so there was no way someone could have seen her," Henson said earlier this week.
Hughes rented the residence from Woods for several years and lived in it until a few weeks ago when Woods' family evicted her for writing them a bad rent check. Records at the Carter County Clerks Office show that members of the Woods family took out a warrant for Hughes' arrest, charging her with a worthless check.
The discovery of Woods' body in the home Hughes rented may spark a renewed interest in the investigation into the death of Hughes' son, Jamie Davis, whose death was ruled a suicide in April 1998. He was 18 at the time of his death.
An official with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation refused to comment on whether or not the case has reopened.
Henson stated his department is considering the connection. "I wouldn't go so far as to say opening (the case), but we're looking at it," he said. "We're looking at everything right now."
Woods' body was reportedly found underneath the bed in the room that previously belonged to Davis. Hughes had decorated the room as a memorial to him, enshrining many of his personal possessions there.