Family searching for answers in woman's death after her body was found

Posted at 4:11 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 17:11:25-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A family is searching for answers after their loved one's remains were found in Rutherford County.

The remains of 22-year-old Shontisha Marie Rutland of Nashville were found along Mt. Herman Road in Rutherford County on July 27. Her cause of death is still undetermined.

Rutland last spoke with her family in mid-June. She was supposed to be living in Murfreesboro, but after not hearing from her, Rutland's grandmother called the Sheriff's Office in August asking for information on her granddaughter.

Rutland's description matched that of the unidentified remains found in July; so a detective obtained DNA samples from Rutland’s mother and pre-school age daughter, which led to to her identification.

Detectives and family members are now searching for information from people who knew Rutland while she lived in Murfreesboro. They hope to develop a timeline of when she was last seen and with whom she may have been.

“We need to talk with people who knew Shontisha and find out what she was up to and where she was,” Capt. Britt Reed said. “We are certain that someone in Murfreesboro knows what happened to her. It’s important for her family to have that closure.”

Anyone with information was asked to call Detective Dennis Ward at 615-904-3060 or the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at 615-898-7770. Anonymous tips can also be made through the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office website under “Submit a Tip” on the first page.