Authorities: No leads after pregnant "Jane Doe" found dead in woods fire

Published: Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Authorities say they have no leads in the case of a pregnant woman found dead in the smoldering ashes of a woods fire off Screaming Eagle Road last week.

The unidentified victim was 21 weeks pregnant.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says the victim was shot dead and then set on fire. "It is a true Jane Doe case," said Watts.

Authorities described the woman as an African-American between 20 to 35 years of age , 5'8" tall and weighed between 120 and 135 pounds.

Sheriff's department spokesperson Curtis Wilson says the fire happened in the 3200 block of Screaming Eagle Road. Firefighters were called to the fire at about 2 p.m. Thursday. It took about four hours to put the fire out after five acres burned.

Investigators found the woman's body once they had the fire under control. 

"The only thing we really have right now is there was a woods fire and a female victim that was located in this fire," said Wilson.

The Forestry Commission, the Coroner's Office, the County's Crime Scene Unit were all on scene working to figure out how the fire started and how the body ended up amidst the ashes.

"Right now it's tough to determine given the condition of the body but we'll try to gather as much as we can while we're out here now and also work any leads that will help us identify this individual," he said.

No other details have been released about the woman's condition or how exactly she died.

"Now we have to piece together exactly who she is and of course who is responsible for what took place," said Wilson.

Richland County Sheriff's Department investigators continue to examine forensic evidence. Deputies are also going through the department's missing persons reports to find any potential matches.

If you have any information about this case, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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