IRONTON — Human remains discovered Friday along the Ohio River in Ironton have been identified as a woman who was deemed missing from the Cheshire region in March.
According to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, Tamela Simpson, 34, was identified by dental records in coordination with the Ironton Police Department.
“Ironton contacted us when the remains were discovered,” said Browning. “We felt there might be a connection based on previous indicators. Our detectives made contact with the family and are keeping them up to date on any info.”
Browning said investigators do not suspect there was any foul play involved in Simpson’s death as of this time.
Tamela disappeared March 14 from her family’s home in Cheshire. Her sisters say that Tamela walked across State Route 7 to the Ohio River to relieve stress from a variety of sources in her life after a discussion with family. The residence was a short distance from the water’s edge and easily seen from the front of the home. The sisters said it was a common practice with the family to sit by the water and clear their heads during times of difficulty.
Simpson’s sisters say family members saw Tamela near the water’s edge and believed they saw her enter the river after potentially slipping and heard a sound potentially corresponding with the action. After her brother went to check on her, they could not find her.
Police reports say there was light traffic at the time of the incident and minimal background noise. Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said no foul play was suspected considering the circumstances of Tamela’s disappearance.
Deputies used marine boats and cadaver dogs in a ground search of the area after receiving reports about Tamela’s disappearance.
Sisters Natasha and Kat Simpson previously told the Tribune during their sister’s search that they “just wanted peace for (Tamela) and closure for the family.”
“She was loved by many,” Natasha said in April. “This has been hard on all of us.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.