MADISON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police have released the identity of a woman who was found dead along a roadway in Madison Monday morning.
Police say Tabitha Ryals, 32, was discovered off the roadway in the 1000 block of Gibson Drive at 11 a.m.
Shortly after police arrived, Todd Mayo left his home shocked to see the scene outside.
“20 or 25 cars and police everywhere, and figured something, probably not good happened,” Mayo said. “I asked them about it, and they said there was a body discovered maybe an hour before on essentially my property.”
Ryals is believed to have come to Nashville from Mississippi within the past few months. A passing driver spotted Ryals’ body Monday, which was partially covered by a blanket, and notified police.
“To hear that was a little bit of a shock, and of course, just makes me sad to think there’s somebody that’s lost their life, and ended up in a ditch on my property,” explained Mayo, “You would wish that somebody saw something, heard something, had one of those ring cameras you know. Something, to be able to give the police some information that could hopefully allow them to find out what happened.”
On June 7, the Hattiesburg Police Department in Miss. shared a post from the Columbia Police Department about a missing woman also named Tabitha Ryals. She was last seen in Columbia, Miss. on May 9. Whether they are the same person has yet to be confirmed by police.
The mysterious crime sent shock waves through the community. While some residents were not home when the body was found, many had heard from neighbors about the large police presence.
“I don’t like getting news that there’s a dead body in my neighborhood, that’s definitely concerning,” said Sarah Libby. “That definitely makes me a little more cautious at least until we have some answers going forward.”
Police said it appears Ryals died somewhere else before her body was left in the area. The case is now being investigated as a homicide.
The cause of death will be determined through an autopsy.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.
Anyone with information about Ryals’ death is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (615) 742-7463.