Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office investigators continue to look for clues in Lime Lady case

In April 1980, a group of fishermen happened upon a ghastly surprise in the woods along the North Canadian River in eastern Oklahoma County. The body of a young woman had been shot to death and left in the brush on the eastern bank of the river, covered in a blanket of quicklime.
by Silas Allen Published: February 22, 2014
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In April 1980, a group of fishermen made a grisly discovery in the woods along the North Canadian River in eastern Oklahoma County.

A young woman had been shot to death and left in the brush on the eastern bank of the river, covered in a blanket of quicklime. In the nearly 34 years since then, investigators have given the woman a nickname — the Lime Lady. But they haven’t gotten much closer to finding out who the woman was or who killed her.

Capt. Bob Green, an investigator with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, said the woman’s killers probably dumped quicklime over her body to speed up decomposition. But instead of decomposing the body, the lime preserved it. When investigators arrived, they found the body mummified, but mostly intact.

The quality of the body gave investigators a detailed look at what the woman looked like. She was 18 to 25 years old, about 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds. She was a slender woman with shoulder-length reddish brown hair, a fair complexion and freckles. She had irregular teeth with several areas where she had dental work done, and a scar from an appendectomy.

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic on the woman’s body was a small heart-shaped tattoo above her left breast, Green said.

But despite the detailed description of her body, the sheriff’s office has had no luck finding out who the woman was. Investigators have followed several leads over the years. They’ve scoured missing persons databases and looked through dental records, but each time, they’ve come up empty.

Meanwhile, no one has ever come forward to claim the woman. That fact, by itself, is unusual.

“Usually, something will turn up,” Green said.

The area where the woman’s body was found could offer some clues about how she died and who killed her. Chief Deputy Carson Marshall said her body was found at the end of an out-of-the-way road just off Britton Road.

There was only one way in and out of the spot where the woman’s body was found, Marshall said. Fishermen sometimes drove down the road and walked to the river, he said, but it wasn’t easily visible from the road. Marshall, who was on the scene at the time the body was found, said that fact could mean the woman’s killers lived nearby.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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