State police closed down S. Shell Bridge Road near Bethel early Saturday morning after finding a body there. Police said the woman was killed.
Delaware News Journal
WILMINGTON, Del. – The report on the dead woman found dumped by the side of the road Saturday in Delaware was as simple as it was horrendous.
“One or more limbs not recovered.”
“One or both hands not recovered.”
Those details, unconfirmed by state police, were put into a national system used to identify bodies by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science on Monday.
Police have said only that they found a woman’s body Saturday morning along along a road near Bethel in southern Delaware. They are investigating the death as a homicide.
The News Journal found the details on the NamUs database, administered by a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice and managed by the University of North Texas Health Science Center. A NamUs manager confirmed an employee from the Delaware forensic division added that grisly information to its database Monday.
The information, originally public, was switched to private on Tuesday after the News Journal asked state police to confirm details.
The mutilated state of the body described in the database matches accounts by residents of the neighborhood where she was found and by emergency responders in Sussex County.
“Very limited information has been released due to the nature of this incident. The investigation is in its early stages and we do not want to provide information that could be detrimental to this case,” a state police spokeswoman said in an email Tuesday.
Though she’s unidentified, the database says her face was “recognizable.”
The database paints a portrait of a white woman under 40-years-old with brown hair and eyes. She was wearing at least two earrings in one ear.
She had several tattoos including one of a cross with wings that was marked with a cursive “Jaida,” a rose on her chest with a cursive “R” or “K,” and either a bird or a butterfly behind her ear. Another tattoo on her neck may have depicted a butterfly, and on the back of her neck were more cursive letters, either an “E,” “F” or “T.”
Around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, state troopers went to South Shell Bridge Road just south of Bethel, a long, wooded country road with homes on either side. The road borders the community of Broad Creek Estates, nestled below its namesake stream.
The roadway is a busy cut-through during weekday mornings, but its main travelers on Saturday are dog walkers. State police haven’t said who found the body.
But there was apparently no attempt to hide her.
Locals pointed out a shallow depression on the roadside where police gathered Saturday morning. Nearby residents said they first heard the body was mutilated while the scene still was unfolding.
“Since then we haven’t really heard anything other than the initial news reports,” said Chris Bounds, who daily visits his parents and daughter in Broad Creek Estates where he grew up.
The community is still on edge.
B.J. Mohr was waiting at South Shell Bridge Road Monday afternoon for his son’s school bus. Usually, he waits a little farther up the road, but his son gets off the bus only a short distance from where her body was found.
“I heard rumors there was possibly a chopped-up body,” said Mohr, who’s lived in Broad Creek Estates for about five years. “I’m still worried. That’s why I came down here.”
One thing state police divulged is that they don’t fear for the neighborhood.
“There is no concern for the public’s safety at this time,” a state police spokesman said.
But residents in Broad Creek Estates are watching their streets carefully for strangers all the same.
“People are scared,” Bounds said.
Follow Josephine Peterson on Twitter: @jopeterson93.
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