Authorities are continuing their investigation into the death of a LaFayette woman whose body was found off Old Mineral Springs Road in Walker County.
The body of 31-year-old Britney Parker Cole was discovered Tuesday, June 18, in the 2900 block, about 115 feet off the road. The site is in a rural area about two miles southeast of the Super Walmart on U.S. Highway 27 just outside LaFayette city limits.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said two farmers discovered the body as they were driving along the road. They spotted something lying on the land, prompting them to stop and investigate, he said.
Cole did not have noticeable signs of trauma, Wilson said. Officials estimate she had been dead three to five days.
The sheriff said Cole had gotten married eight days earlier to Bobby Jay “BJ” Cole. He had not reported her missing when her body was found, Wilson said. The body was found about two miles from their residence.
According to Department of Corrections’ records, Bobby Jay Cole, 45, was released on parole from prison in August 2018 after serving nearly 28 years for a 1990 murder in Walker County.
He was 16 years old when he was accused of killing 27-year-old Ringgold High School graduate Benjamin West. Police say he lured West to a secluded area, robbed him, and then fatally shot him in the back of the head. The two had worked together at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Ringgold. West was the store’s manager and Cole was a team member.
Cole pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Britney Cole, on the morning of June 10 in a Facebook post, wrote, “I cant believe that it is really happening. So Bj Cole woke me up this morning to tell me he didnt want to wait anymore. That he knows im the only one for him. We are on our way to commit to one another for the rest of our lives. I cant begin to tell you how crazy my life has turned around since last oct. God is so wonderful and his love is so amazing. So in less then 3 hours ill be Mrs. Cole.. Wow its really happening..”
Four days later, shortly before noon on June 14, she wrote in a Facebook post, “Everyday I wake up thinking what in the hell went so wrong.. Today I wake up thinking how damn confused things are in my life right now and how everything is all going to fast.. I need to just be still and let god take care if it... He knows what is best for me..”
Sheriff Wilson told a Chattanooga TV news station that Britney Cole was last seen on Thursday, June 13, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. after her work shift at Wanda’s Restaurant in Rock Spring.
An employee at the restaurant who asked not to be named said Cole was hired around May 28 to work the evening shift.
“My heart breaks for her loved ones,” the co-worker said. “What happened to her, she did not deserve.”
“While (Britney) was training her first week, she was very friendly,” the employee said. “She really seemed like she was going to like her new job.”
The employee said Cole injured her ankle and missed work for about a week but returned the next week.
Cole was scheduled to work Monday, June 17, the employee said. When she failed to show, her mother-in-law was called. The mother-in-law said she had not talked to Cole. The worker said she believes Cole “did call work at some point Saturday (June 15) to see when her next work day would be.”