OKLAHOMA CITY — The body of a woman found in central Oklahoma nearly 40 years ago and known only as “Lime Lady” has been identified as a missing Las Vegas woman, authorities said Thursday.
DNA testing with the help of the DNA Doe Project identified Tamara Lee Tigard as the woman whose body was found April 18, 1980, on the banks of the North Canadian River in Jones on the outskirts of Oklahoma City.
Tigard, who was shot to death, was found on what would have been her 21st birthday, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Green said. Tigard was known for decades only as "Lime Lady" because her body had been covered in lime in a possible attempt to destroy it, but instead the lime helped preserve her remains.
It is not known how long she was in Oklahoma, according to Sheriff P.D. Taylor. Investigators have also determined she was in the U.S. military, serving in the Army, and military dental records also helped confirm her identity, Green said.
"I always just wanted to bring dignity to the victim in this case," said Green, who became involved in the case in 2008. "All of these years she has been gone without a trace, with none of her family or acquaintances knowing what happened to her."
Tigard has no immediate family members living, Green said.
A former sergeant first class and 19-year Army veteran is charged with murder in the death of a young female soldier.
Green said although Tigard had been reported missing the month prior to the discovery of her body, another woman was found to be using her identity in Ohio around that time.
"That's how (Tigard) was cleared from that missing persons case," Green said.
He declined to label the woman in Ohio a suspect, saying he does not know who she is.
No suspects are in custody and investigators are releasing no other information because the investigation is ongoing, said sheriff's spokesman Mark Myers.
“Now the work starts to try to determine if there are any suspects or who might be the actual murderer,” Myers said.