Detectives Investigate After Body Found On Barge

Detectives from the Shelby County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office are investigating after a woman’s body was found on a barge in a tow near Memphis, Tenn., after the tow idled for hours near the Interstate 55 bridge.

The woman has been identified as Hailey Silas, 22, of Oklahoma, according to a post the sheriff’s office made on a social media. Chief Deputy Anthony Buckner had previously said that investigators do not suspect that foul play was involved in her death.

The woman’s body was discovered by the crew of the ITV Mark M, owned by Luhr Brothers, during a regular safety check about 7 a.m. October 21, said Petty Officer Ryan Graves, a spokesman for U.S. Coast Guard District 8. Graves said the tow was at approximately Lower Mississippi Mile 767 at the time of the discovery.

The sheriff’s office indicated that during a previous safety check, about 11 p.m. October 20, while the tow was idling near the bridge, crew members said the body had not been there. The vessel was then cleared to continue upriver about 2:30 a.m.

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Buckner told local media that detectives had been working around the clock on the case and had been able to positively identify the woman late October 23. They hoped to then piece together information about the events leading to her death.

“In my 22 years of working with the sheriff’s office, I don’t think there’s been any investigation of a body on a barge,” Buckner told local reporters.