New Information Forces Detective To Reopen Cold Case

Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:32:35-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – New information from an anonymous tip has pushed detectives to reopen a cold case from more than 40 years ago.

It happened in North Nashville in the summer of 1974. Children found a woman's body after she'd been missing for two months. Her name was Barbara Trice.

Metro Police Cold Case Detective Steve Jolley has reopened the case, and he showed NewsChannel5 the file.

Jolley said, "In the case file there isn't a lot of information as far as what direction the investigation took. There just wasn't a lot at the time."

There wasn’t even a photograph of Trice in the file, and even for family members, memories were hard to find.

Half-sister, Gloria Payne, was only 14 when it happened. "I do slightly remember they told me she was missing,” said Payne. “That I do remember that she was missing, but after that nothing else was said to me about it from my family until I heard from the detective."

Detective Jolley hasn’t forgotten. He received some new information that he knew he had to act on. "Recently we did receive a tip that has caused us to take another look at the case, and reinvestigate and start going back and talking to people who were around then,” said Jolley.

Children, who were playing football near an alley behind 1919 Delta Avenue in North Nashville, discovered Trice's remains in a plastic bag on September 28, 1974. She'd been missing for two months.

Her family filed a missing person report on July 21, 1974; nearly three weeks after she was last seen on July 3, 1974.

An autopsy report said she was hit in the head. Jolley pointed to drawings of the skull. He said, "So, it's almost like there might have been a stab there, the way it's drawn. The way he words it there, so but that's significant on the right side and even comes over the eye."

The file included a few crime scene photographs. One picture showed a detective wearing a leisure suit and looking in the alley 41 years ago.
A second one showed what appeared to be a cigarette lighter found near the body.

Payne said, "I think she deserves justice after all this time." However, justice may depend on the new information being investigated, which Detective Jolley isn't revealing.

Detective Jolley has a direction to go in, which is something investigators didn't have 41 years ago.

Jolley said the new information had a lot of details and it came from an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers. He's hoping that person will call back.

Jolley has asked anyone that may have information on the case to help him by calling the Metro Police Department and ask for the Cold Case Unit.