On December 22, 1974, a tourist was taking a shortcut to their Cove Mountain chalet. They walked through the woods beneath the tramway of what was at that time the Gatlinburg Ski Resort (now Ober Gatlinburg) and made a startling discovery in the brush. The remains of a woman, more skeleton than flesh lay still encased in her clothing. Beside her was a folded up sweater, as if she’d essentially sat down, folded it up, and died. She had been deceased for approximately 1-2 months before her body was discovered, and to this date the cause of death is unknown. However, it was evident to law enforcement that there wasn’t any foul play involved.
Gatlinburg Gal was 30-45 years old, Caucasian, between 5’6 – 5’9, and weighed approximately 140 lbs. She had short brown hair, hazel eyes, and her teeth were well taken care of. She was wearing short brown men’s socks and no shoes. Her coat and sweater were folded neatly beside her. She was wearing a white button-down Sweettree sweater, a dark blue coat, dark blue knit Mayer-Land-Marquis pants, size x-large and a white short-sleeved shirt with a floral design of yellow flowers. There was no sign of a purse or any identification. There was also no wedding ring found either.
It makes you wonder just what could have possibly happened to Gatlinburg Gal, especially given that we still don’t have an official cause of death. Is it possible that perhaps she had an outstanding medical condition that lead to her death? Maybe she for some reason decided to walk down the mountain, began feeling unwell, sat down to rest for a moment and ended up having a heart attack or some other spontaneous catastrophic medical event.
Authorities don’t believe that she is a local resident, given the amount of time that has passed without identification. Taking into account just how popular of a tourist destination Gatlinburg is, she could literally be from anywhere.
If you have any information on this woman’s identity, please contact the Gatlinburg Police Department at 865-436-5181.