Skull Identified as Missing Tennessee Woman

October 23, 2019 Updated: October 23, 2019

Authorities in Gibson County have discovered the skull of a Milan woman who went missing 10 months ago.

Sarah Michelle Phillips, 22, failed to return home on Jan. 9 after leaving without her phone and medication for type 1 diabetes, the Jackson Sun reported.

Local police, along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, friends, and family members had been searching for her and were growing increasingly concerned.

According to the publication, a skull was discovered by a dog near Gibson and Crockett County lines over the weekend, who brought it to its owner.

Gibson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene and began combing the woods for evidence.

On Tuesday, Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas said a medical examiner had confirmed the skull belonged to Phillips after using dental records to identify her, the publication reported.

A Facebook post by Tennessee Missing and Unsolved also confirmed the news.

No other remains have been found and authorities will be conducting additional searches in the coming days.

Phillips’s sisters, Moriah Leem and Chelsey Doucette spoke to the Jackson Sun before the skull was discovered.

Leem told the publication that the last time she had spoken to Phillips was via Facebook Messenger on the day she disappeared. She said it had been the tenth anniversary of their mother’s death.

Doucette added that it was not uncommon for her sister to be out of contact for a couple of days as she doesn’t have a phone.

However, she stressed that Phillips had never been gone for weeks or months at a time.

Leem also shared a Facebook post on Feb. 26, claiming that her sister had been with some “bad people” on the day of her disappearance.

She wrote: “I found out some real disturbing news. Sarah was at a house on Jan. 9 with some very bad people. One of those people are now in jail because of several accounts of sexual assault. I’m thinking the worst.”

Leem added: “Also, she’s type 1 diabetic! She has not been to any pharmacies to pick up her insulin.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and several local police departments are reportedly working together to find out what happened to Phillips.

Following the tragic news, Doucette revealed her heartbreak over her sister’s death.

Posting on Facebook, she wrote: “My sweet baby sister has been found and not in the way I was praying she would be. She was so young and had so much life to live.

“Why did God have to take her from us? I will never understand it. She didn’t deserve this. My heart is forever broken. Justice has to happen.”

Doucette asked for the public to keep her family in their thoughts and prayers at this time.