Murder Victim Identified, Boyfriend In Custody

Posted at 11:34 AM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 20:50:34-04

A family member has identified the woman whose body was found in College Grove.

According to the victim's aunt, 21-year-old Britney Cole has been identified as the woman killed in Williamson County. Officials said she would have been 22 years old the week following the press conference.

Authorities announced new information in the homicide investigation around 2 p.m. Friday, including that Cole was the victim of a homicide by a weapon which appeared to be a handgun.

Authorities said 21-year-old Thomas Blake Bruner was arrested in connection to the homicide. According to Cole's family, Bruner was the last person that had contact with her before her body was found.

Officials said Cole and Bruner both had the same address listed at the time of the homicide. Cole's family said Bruner was Cole's boyfriend, and officials confirmed they believed the two had been in a relationship.

The two had been living on the Smith/Wilson County line with a Lebanon address. Bruner was taken into custody in Wilson County for criminal homicide after being interviewed in Lebanon.

Investigators were called to a rural area near College Grove and Bethesda Monday night after neighbors discovered Cole’s body.

The remains were found near an entrance to a field off Cross Keys Road by people riding off-terrain vehicles. Authorities said they believed her body had been there for two to three days.

An artist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation created a sketch along with a tattoo found on Cole’s body.

Family members of Cole said they recognized the sketch when it was posted on Facebook by the Williamson County Sheriff's Department. A tattoo of hearts on her wrist was also key in her identification.

Bruner was being questioned, according to reports. He was being held on a $1 million bond. His court date has been scheduled for August 31 if he doesn't meet bond. Officials said if he meets bond, his court appearance will be held September 8.