On April 18, 1980 fishermen found the nude body of an 18-25-year-old white female on the bank of the North Canadian River, east of Jones, Oklahoma, about 20 miles east of Oklahoma City. She had been shot several times in the chest with a .45 caliber handgun. Although found without clothes, investigators believe she was dressed at the time of the murder as a dime was hit by a bullet and driven into her body. Her height and weight were estimated at 5′ 7 and 115 lbs. On her left breast she had a red and blue tattoo of a heart with a scroll. After being dumped, her body was completely covered with lime to enhance decomposition, however the incorrect lime had been used and it actually helped preserve the body. Over the years she became known as “Lime Lady”.
Date Found April 18, 1980
Race White / Caucasian
Location Jones, Oklahoma
Agency of Jurisdiction
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Bob Green, Investigations Division
Links to More Information
On January 30, 2020 the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office of Oklahoma City, OK (OCSO) announced the identity of the homicide victim known as Lime Lady as Tamara Lee Tigard of California. Traditional investigative attempts over nearly 40 years by the OCSO to identify her and locate her killer were unsuccessful. The DNA Doe Project, Inc. (DDP) had been working closely with OCSO since September 2018 to search for the victim’s identity through the use of genetic genealogy.
Tamara Lee Tigard was born in 1959 in California, and had spent time in the U.S. Army. She had been living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was reported missing in March 1980. Tamara died at age 21 from several gunshot wounds to the chest in the winter or spring 1980, and her remains, covered with quicklime, were found by fishermen on April 18, 1980 on the bank of the North Canadian River east of Jones, Oklahoma. Forensic investigation determined Tamara died from gunshot wounds. Forensic investigators declared the manner of death to be homicide.
In September 2018, after unsuccessful attempts to identify the victim using traditional investigative methods, Capt. Bob Green of OCSO contacted DDP. The process for obtaining usable DNA was challenging. The DNA was finally sequenced by Hudson Alpha Discovery and the results were uploaded to GEDmatch. Within a day and a half DDP’s team of volunteer genealogists identified a likely name for Lime Lady. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office was able to confirm the identification of Tamara Lee Tigard in December 2019 through a match of dental records obtained from the United States Army. The sheriff’s office is now focused on solving Tamara’s murder.
DDP wishes to acknowledge our generous donors and the contributions of those groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor and his staff who entrusted the case to DDP; the University of North Texas for providing DNA samples; Hudson Alpha Discovery for processing the DNA; Dr. Greg Magoon, Senior Research Engineer, Aerodyne Research Corp., contracting through Full Genomes Corp., for his work in bioinformatics; Othram; and, finally, GEDmatch for providing their database. Of course, much gratitude goes to our dedicated volunteer genealogists.
For more information on the search for the identity of Lime Lady:
Photo Credit: Carl Koppelman
Last Updated: August 6, 2020