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Deputies ID woman’s body found near Garner

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SMITHFIELD — The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a woman whose body was found Dec. 28 near Garner.

The woman has been identified as Jennifer Michelle Chatham, 34, of 2869 Wendell Road, Wendell.

Capt. Jeff Caldwell said the cause of death does not appear to be suspicious, but the death investigation remains ongoing and no additional details are being released.

Deputies were called to the area of 16816 N.C. 50 N. and Pierce Road where a motorist found Chatham’s body beside the roadway around 9 p.m. Dec. 28. Authorities say Tamara Neighbors, a Virginia Beach sheriff’s deputy, discovered the body and called local officials to report the death.

Neighors told a 911 dispatcher she discovered the body on Pierce Road, about a quarter-mile from N.C. 50. Neighbors said there were tire marks next to the body.

According to a tape of the 911 call, Neighbors said she had been in the area around 7 p.m. and the body wasn’t there at that time. Neighbors said it appeared the body was dumped at the site and that half of her clothing had been removed.