NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The mysterious death of a Hendersonville woman that is the subject of a popular podcast could go to trial after all.
An appeals court ruled the family of Lauren Agee has a right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against three people who were among the last to see the 21 year old alive.
Lauren Agee's body was discovered by fishermen on Center Hill Lake in July of 2015.
Prior to her death, Agee was camping with her friends on a cliff near Pates Ford Marina during WakeFest, a weekend wakeboarding tournament held at Center Hill Lake. When her friends woke up on Sunday July 26th, Agee had vanished. Her body was found by fishermen in a nearby cove hours later.
The DeKalb County Sheriff ruled her death an accident, saying Agee likely fell to her death. The coroner's report shows Agee died of "blunt force trauma and possible drowning."
Agee's mother, Sherry Smith, said several witnesses at WakeFest told her the circumstances surrounding Agee's disappearance and death were suspicious, so she hired an attorney and private investigator.
That private investigator, Sheila Wysocki, continues to document her investigation on the popular podcast "Without Warning."
Wysocki found more people were camping on the cliff than reported to police, and uncovered more information about the people with Agee that weekend.
Sherry Smith told NewsChannel5 2017, "We've uncovered other information like one of the suspect's was on probation for domestic violence at the time of Lauren's death, one of the suspect's had gotten into an altercation with a female the night before, so these were not people who didn't have police records."
Smith asked the DeKalb County Sheriff and District Attorney to reopen the case, and thousands of strangers even signed a petition urging officials to do so.
In January 2018, DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray announced he had discussed reopening the case with District Attorney Bryant Dunaway. However, Ray said neither the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department nor the District Attorney General's Office had obtained any factual information about the case since the case was closed as an accident.