A body that turned up on the riverbanks of Knoxville on Monday has been positively identified as a woman who vanished late last month.
The woman’s car had previously been found near a University of Tennessee hospital in Knoxville. Police are now scrambling to learn how the woman ended up in the river, roughly 20 miles downstream from where her vehicle was located.
Trull’s body was sighted by a Tennessee fisherman, who phoned emergency dispatchers, Jeff Bagwell, a spokesperson with Rural Metro Fire Department, confirmed.
“[He] met us at the dock, which was across the inlet,” Bagwell told Oxygen.com. “Our firemen went over there and found her and pronounced her [dead] at that point.”
The fire department official said Trull’s corpse had floated ashore by the time the fisherman discovered it.
“The body wasn’t in the water, it was up on some mud where the water had receded just a little bit so it had gotten stuck there,” Bagwell added. “It wasn’t actually floating in the water.”
Authorities, who stated there’s no reason yet to believe Trull’s death is suspicious, said an autopsy will now be conducted on the 48-year-old Jefferson County woman.
“It's a tragic thing,” Scott Erland, a public information officer for the Knoxville Police Department, told Oxygen.com. “We don’t suspect foul play at this time but it does remain an ongoing investigation and we’re continuing to follow all leads. We know that the family is grieving and we’re working for that family to see what we can find out.”
In the days following Trull’s disappearance, search and rescue crews, which included boat and air units, carried out an “extensive search” in the area where Trull's vehicle was found, authorities said. Their efforts didn’t yield many clues as to her whereabouts; however, investigators believe Trull entered the water in the downtown Knoxville area.
“Today has been a tearful day for me!” Trull’s son, Tylor, posted on social media on Tuesday. “Mom [you’re] the greatest in my eyes! Thank you for the 29 years 4 months of love and support. I miss you and wish I could have talked to you one last time! You will be missed.”
The woman’s son had previously claimed that some of Trull’s belongings, including her phone and clothing, were recovered from the vehicle found near the University of Tennessee.
In a series of posts since her disappearance, Tylor described Trull as a “beautiful soul” with a “contagious smile.”
“If you have a mother still in your life please give them a hug for yourself and on my behalf,” he wrote on March 6. “Don’t take someone for granted! You never know when the last time you will be able to see or talk to them! Love you mom!”
The 48-year-old’s husband, Vince Trull, also shared a flyer on Facebook related to his wife’s disappearance last week. The couple would have reportedly celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this June.
Oxygen.com was unable to reach Trull’s family for comment on Tuesday.
Editor's note: The original version of this article identified Scott Erland as being the public information officer of the Knoxville County Sheriff's Office. He's a member of the Knoxville Police Department. The story has been updated.
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