TBI: Grainger County ”Jane Doe” homicide victim identified

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public’s help in providing information about a homicide that occurred more than 25 years ago.

In September 1996, TBI agents were requested to assist the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the discovery of human remains that were found by hunters in a wooded area just off Dale Road in the Powder Springs section of Grainger County. Based on evidence found at the scene, the case was ruled a homicide. With assistance from the University of Tennessee Anthropology Department, the remains were determined to be those of a female who was believed to be 30-40 years old. However, investigators could not determine the individual’s identity, and she was listed as a Jane Doe.

In 2018, a sample of the woman’s remains was submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI). A DNA profile was developed for the victim and entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).  In 2019, agents were notified of a possible match. The match returned to a woman living and residing in Knoxville. After making contact with the woman, agents learned she had a missing twin sister. To determine if the Grainger County Jane Doe was the missing sister of the Knoxville woman, additional DNA samples were collected from her and another family member and submitted to UNTCHI for further analysis. Last week, agents received confirmation that the DNA profile was that of 38-year-old Brenda Clark, who was reportedly last seen by family in 1996.

TBI special agents hope the public can help provide information that may help them determine what happened to Brenda Clark and who is responsible for her death. If you have information, specifically any knowledge about individuals Ms. Clark may have been with before her death, please call 1-800-TBI-FIND.