Family members need more information after learning their relative’s skeletal remains were found July 27 in a field off Mt. Herman Road, Rutherford County Sheriff’s detectives said.

DNA testing identified the remains as Shontisha Marie Rutland of Nashville, who was supposed to be celebrating her 23rd birthday this month, said Capt. Britt Reed of the Criminal Investigations Division.

“The cause of death is still pending,” Reed said.

Detective Dennis Ward talked to Rutland’s family members who want to know what happened to her.

“They don’t feel it was right that somebody would do something to her or leave her body there,” Ward said.

The detective learned Rutland was possibly the woman left on Mt. Herman Road after Rutland’s grandmother called the Sheriff’s Office in August. She asked for information about her granddaughter who was supposed to be living in Murfreesboro but had not talked with her family since mid-June.

Ward talked to the grandmother and believed her granddaughter’s description was similar to the one the medical examiner described after studying the remains. He obtained DNA samples from Rutland’s mother and pre-school age daughter.

Now detectives need help from people who knew Rutland while she lived in Murfreesboro to try and determine what happened to her.

Reed said detectives hope Rutland’s friends may help develop a timeline of when she was last seen and with whom she may have been.

“We need to talk with people who knew Shontisha and find out what she was up to and where she was,” Reed said. “We are certain that someone in Murfreesboro knows what happened to her. It’s important for her family to have that closure.”

Anyone with information should call Ward at 615-904-3060 or the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at 615-898-7770.

People can also leave anonymous tips through the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office website at under “Submit a Tip” on the first page or send a tip to