Woman's body found near roadway; investigated as 'possible homicide'

Woman's body found near roadway; investigated as 'possible homicide'
Willie Clarence Sims (Source: Gregg County Jail)
Willie Clarence Sims (Source: Gregg County Jail)

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Kilgore police are investigating a possible homicide after a woman's body was found abandoned in a car on the side of the road.

On Tuesday at 3:18 am, Kilgore Police responded to Farm to Market Road 349 near the intersection of FM 2276 after reports of a vehicle crash.

Upon arrival, police found a vehicle in a ditch beside the roadway. The body of a female was discovered in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. The body was identified as Amanda L. Woods, 30, of Kilgore. Police believe Amanda may have been the victim of a homicide.

Amanda's older sister Gayle Drinning says Amanda was known to most as "Shorty," and that she was a terrific basketball player in high school. Amanda went to school in Leverett's Chapel and in Kilgore. Her family says she'd been employed at the Subway restaurant near Kilgore College for about a year. Gayle says she, Amanda and their brother have buried the majority of their family members.

"We were all each other had left," Gayle says. Gayle says Amanda leaves behind two young children, aged 9 and 10.

People who live and work near the scene say crime scene tape blocked off the road from 4 a.m. until about 7.  [if gte mso 9]>

Dale McElyea at M&M Contractors could see the police activity from work. He says he walked to the intersection, he saw a compact car that did not appear to be wrecked. He says it looked like no one was in the driver seat.

Around 6:40 a.m., McElyea saw a body being pulled out of the passenger side of the vehicle. He says, "I thought someone had a heart attack, but there should have been someone on the driver's side. That's what I don't understand."

According to Kilgore police, Amanda Woods was the only person inside the vehicle when they arrived. However, a 37-year-old man was found nearby. Police identified that man as Willie Clarence Sims. Police investigation determined Sims had transported Amanda from a Kilgore apartment complex to the intersection. Kilgore police say Sims was arrested and charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence; Human Corpse- Felony.

Kilgore police say they are not looking for other suspects, but that the investigation is still ongoing. Amanda's family says they do not know the man who was arrested near the scene. An autopsy has been ordered to determine her cause of death.

If you any information in regards to this crime please contact Detective Trae Portwood at 903-983-1559.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.