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Cause not yet found in woman's death
Bassett woman’s remains too badly burned, police say
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Vicky Purdy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The condition of Vicky Purdy’s remains when they were found Oct. 6 in a burned vehicle has made it difficult for authorities to determine how she died, Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said Tuesday.

When the 53-year-old Bassett woman’s remains were found, they were “badly burned” and basically skeletal, Overton said. Because of that, determining the cause of her death “starts to get a bit more involved,” and as a result, there are no preliminary autopsy results yet, the sheriff added.

The origin of the fire that destroyed the vehicle, which was found on Philpott Road in Franklin County near the Henry County line, also is not yet known. Authorities are waiting on the results of forensic tests on evidence from the crime scene, Overton said. Some of the evidence should tell whether accelerants were used to start the fire, he added.

“We certainly have taken samples from the vehicle, and we’ve got everything to the lab and are waiting for results,” he said.

While those results are pending, officers with Overton’s office are continuing to cooperate with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the disappearance of Purdy’s friend Ricky Dodson of Bassett. Dodson, 51, has been missing since Oct. 3 — the same day authorities say Purdy was last seen.

Authorities have said they want to talk to Dodson about Purdy, but he is not a suspect in her death.

“A lot of the concentrated effort right now is on (locating Dodson) because he is the last person we can put Ms. Purdy with,” Overton said. “There is certainly concern for Mr. Dodson’s well being,” he added.

As authorities work to put the pieces together to determine what happened to Purdy and Dodson, they will trace the last known movements of both, determine who saw them last, check records such as bank accounts, identify daily contacts, and speak to their work and even casual associates, Overton said.

“We are working with the crime scene and other investigators and trying to get some closure in what happened to Ms. Purdy,” he said.

Anyone with information in Henry County is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 638-8751, or Crime Stoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information related to crimes. The amount of any reward is determined by the substance of information provided and the nature of the crime.

In Franklin County, call Lt. Todd Maxey at (540) 483-6601.


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