UPDATE, Tuesday: The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman who was found on the barge as 22-year-old Hailey Silas from Oklahoma.

Earlier coverage is below.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County deputies are still looking for answers after a woman’s body was found on top of a barge on the Mississippi River over the weekend.

The sheriff’s office is calling this case “highly unusual.” Monday, they offered a description of the woman — but could not provide a name.  

She was described as a blonde woman, between 20-40 years old, wearing a pink shirt that said “Oxford.” She was also wearing a knee brace.

A sheriff’s department spokesman said so far, they don’t believe the death is the result of foul play, but right now they have no idea how she got on the barge or who she is. 

“I can tell you right now we do have far more questions than we do have answers,” said Anthony Buckner.

Detectives say right now it doesn’t appear the woman’s body has any injuries indicating she was purposely injured, but she was not carrying any identification.

The sheriff’s office is trying to see if there are any missing persons cases in the area or any family who is missing someone. 

“So far to me there’s been no reports of cameras aboard the vessel,” Buckner said. “But certainly, we will be checking with T-DOT to see if there’s any video footage we need to recover that could maybe offer some kind of clue as to how she ended up on the barge.”

A barge owned by a company out of Illinois reported finding a woman’s body on top of the craft. The Coast Guard reported it to local authorities around 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The barge was on the Mississippi River near Memphis, two miles south of the Shelby Forest boat ramp.

The barge, which was headed north, had departed from Memphis shortly after 11 Friday night.

The company on Monday confirmed the woman was not an employee, but offered no further comment.

If you have info, call 901-222-5600 or Crime Stoppers at 901-379-7625.