Autopsy unable to determine cause of death for woman found in septic pond

Jeff Bobo • Jun 8, 2017 at 5:44 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Autopsy results released Wednesday for a woman who was discovered deceased on April 5 in a Hawkins County mobile home park septic overflow pond narrowed the cause of death to four possibilities.

But that doesn’t put Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office investigators any closer to understanding how or why 38-year-old Donna Marie Young died.

On the afternoon of April 5, the HCSO responded to a report of a body discovered at 200 Meadowview Road, Lot 8, in a mobile home park in the Stanley Valley community.

Deputies discovered Young’s body in a septic overflow pond.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the Times-News that there was no way to determine exactly how long Young had been in the pond or when she died.

Her body was sent to the ETSU Division of Forensic Pathology for an autopsy.

The autopsy report released to the HCSO Wednesday stated possible causes of death include heart disease and meth overdose, but the potential for accidental drowning or intentional drowning by an unknown person or persons cannot be ruled out.

As a result, the exact cause of Young’s death is undetermined.

Lawson said the investigation remains active, and he asked anyone with information concerning the case to contact the HCSO Detective Division at (423) 272-6514 or (423) 272-4848.

Lawson said detectives are specifically interested in anyone who can shed light on Young’s whereabouts and movements on the day or days leading up to her death.

Young did have friends living at the mobile home park where her body was discovered, Lawson noted, but they have given statements that they hadn’t seen her prior to her death and don’t know why she was there.                            

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