Body found in river was that of local woman

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2003

Local authorities now know the identity of the woman whose body was found this week floating in the Ohio River.

What they are looking for now is information about the time prior to her death.

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said the woman was Juanita M. Willis, 30, who had lived in both

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South Point and Ironton. Sexton said her identity was determined through fingerprints during identification and autopsy at the Franklin County Coroner's Office in Columbus.

"We are fairly certain that up until the evening of Aug. 12 she was living," Sexton said. "We want people to call us if they have any information, and certainly we would interview them. We are enhancing our investigation and we have three of four people working on this case."

He asked that people who have information call his office at 532-3525. If they choose, they may leave an anonymous tip at 533-5511.

Willis' body was discovered Monday afternoon by employees of McGinnis Inc. near the Coal Grove corporation limits. The body was recovered by sheriff's deputies and members of the Coal Grove Fire Department. Her body was sent Tuesday to Columbus for an autopsy and identification.

Sexton had said at that time that there had been no missing persons reports filed for anyone in Lawrence County.