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Autopsy on woman's body 'inconclusive'

An autopsy performed on the body of a 54-year-old Thomson woman discovered lying on the side of a road near Thomson last week does not indicate an exact cause of her death, authorities say.

There was no indication of foul play in connection with the death of Vicki Gunby, of the 600 block of Cobbham Road, said Gary Nicholson, special agent-in-charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 7 Office in Thomson.

The autopsy was "inconclusive" as to how she died.

A series of toxicology tests are scheduled to be performed at the GBI Crime Lab. However, it could be "months" before results are known because of a backlog in cases being handled by crime lab technicians, added Agent Nicholson.

Authorities have ruled out the possibility that Ms. Gunby was the victim of a hit-and-run, Agent Nicholson said last Friday.

"There was no evidence that she was riding a bicycle," he said.

Investigator Lt. Scott Whittle of the Thomson Police Department found an old bicycle and a shoe while searching the area where the body was found, along White Oak Road near Lincoln Drive.

Lt. Whittle later called for McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall and other sheriff's officials, and the GBI and Georgia State Patrol.

Senior Trooper John Freeman and Sgt. Ritchie Howard came to the scene, but were unable to see any evidence to support that a vehicle had struck Ms. Gunby, who reportedly lived nearby.

Her body was discovered on the shoulder of the road by two men who were walking to work shortly after 8 a.m. last Wednesday.

One of the two men called 911, and lawmen and personnel with the McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services responded.

McDuffie County Coroner Rhusha Mack pronounced Ms. Gunby dead shortly after arriving on the scene.

White Oak Road was closed to traffic for about two hours until authorities could complete their investigation.

Web posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009

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