Tattoos help authorites identify decomposing body in Chattnooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A medical examination has determined a partially decomposed body found in Chattanooga was that of a dialysis clinic employee, but the cause of death wasn't apparent.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported the identity of 48-year-old Dana Wilkes was confirmed through tattoos and discovery of sternal wires and an orthopedic plate in the lower neck.

The examiner said the head and part of the victim's upper limbs had been severed.

Police found Wilkes' blood-spattered sport utility vehicle near the Wilcox Tunnel on Nov.11. Her remains were discovered Nov. 25.

The Hamilton County grand jury indicted 53-year-old Tony Bigoms Jr. on charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Investigators said Bigoms is a friend of Wilkes' husband, who was incarcerated when she was killed.

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