Neighborhood reacts to human remains investigation in Coffee Co.

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MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) — The small community of Coffee County is shocked after human remains were discovered in a remote area off of Cole Ridge Road.

“Very surprised that something like this would happen out here,” Jim Ray told News 2.

The road is a 6 mile mostly wooded stretch, with only a handful of neighbors.

“We know everybody that’s pretty much on this street,” Ray told News 2.

He has lived on the street for five years.

“This is a very peaceful community; we’ve never had any trouble out here at all,” he said.

However, trouble likely passed right by his house as Manchester Police say 61-year-old Connie Ray tried to bury a women’s body just down the way from him.

Connie Ray
Connie Ray (Courtesy: Coffee County Sheriff’s Department)

“We are really devastated that something like this would happen on our street, or even anywhere in this area,” Jim Ray said.

An affidavit says Connie Ray reported the victim missing since June 2, but during the investigation, it was determined the woman had died from an overdose on Emmerson Street around 12 miles from where her remains were found.

It’s a gruesome discovery in an area where Jim’s grandchildren have been spending their summer, playing outside.

“We would have never dreamed that something like this would happen out here,” he said. “That’s really going to make us even more cautious about our grandchildren being out here playing and riding their bicycles up and down this road.”

He says their hearts go out to the family who lost a loved one.

“I’m really, deeply sorry for the family that’s lost a daughter or a granddaughter or a mother,” Ray said.

We are still waiting for investigators to release the victim’s identity. The D.A. says the remains are now in the hand of the Medical Examiner.

Connie Ray is in the Coffee County Jail on charges including abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering, and accessory after the fact.

Manchester Police told News 2 MTSU’s anthropology department will be working on the case as well.

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