Missing woman found dead

Published 11:54 am Saturday, March 3, 2012

ISLE OF WIGHT—Foul play is not suspected in the death of a missing Zuni woman.

A team of rescue dogs at 9 a.m. Thursday found the body of Lee Phillips Hughes, 53, about one-quarter mile from her Tomlin Hill Drive Home, said Capt. Rick Gaddis with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. Missing since Feb. 19, Phillips was found at the bottom of a 10- to 12-foot embankment, about 15 feet from the road.

“She was walking down the road after being in a dispute with someone at her home, and slipped and fell,” Gaddis said Friday. “She got covered up with branches.

Whether she died from the fall or exposure is unknown. Her time of death is also unknown.

“The exact cause of death is pending toxicology reports,” Gaddis said.

Officials reported that Hughes was drunk when she disappeared from her home wearing only jeans and a T-shirt. She was an insulin-dependent diabetic and left without her medicine.

Her live-in boyfriend reported her missing, but not immediately, police said.