Solving case could bring needed peace

Published 9:28 am Thursday, April 26, 2012

Known only as the “Belle in the Well,” the woman whose body was found in rural Lawrence County more than three decades ago was certainly more than just a catchy phrase.

She was someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. It is very possible she was someone’s wife or significant other. She could have even been someone’s mother.

For more than three decades the identity of this woman has remained a mystery. But Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and Coroner Kurt Hofmann have made identifying this individual a focus and made it clear this is something that should be considered important.

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And it should be.

As the only unidentified body in Lawrence County, resolving this would be a strong accomplishment for law enforcement and the coroner’s office. Both seem genuinely interested in it for the right reasons.

Most importantly, it could provide final closure for a family somewhere that doesn’t know what happened to this individual.

Anyone who sees this as an inconsequential issue has never lost a loved one or been left with questions about a family member’s death.

Hopefully the latest step — creating a mold of what her face may have looked like — will be another piece of the puzzle.

And, just maybe, it could be the last piece. Or, more precisely, it could be the last peace.