Local News

Missing Chapel Hill woman dies on Tennessee highway

Posted March 21, 2014

Ilene Jennifer Sperling

— A Chapel Hill woman reported missing on Tuesday was hit and killed on a Tennessee highway, police said Friday.

Ilene Jennifer Sperling, 42, was hit by at least one car on U.S. Highway 321 in Cosby, Tenn., in an apparent suicide authorities said. Cosby is on the western edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a few miles south of Interstate 40.

Sperling's family reported her missing Tuesday evening, saying they hadn't been able to contact her, according to a police report. Her 2013 Honda Fit also was missing, and it was unclear whether Tennessee authorities have recovered it.


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  • Erika Phipps Mar 21, 2014
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    The sad fact is that sometimes when people are determined to end their lives, NOBODY, not friends, family, or a whole state's network of mental health facilities can stop them. It's human nature to want to blame someone or something for a tragedy like this, but sometimes you just can't.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 21, 2014

    What on earth!?!
    Poor woman, probably went to TN for help because there's so little GOOD mental help for people here in NC.
    Praying for her loved ones.

  • ebarton57 Mar 21, 2014

    One day our society will give mental illness the respect it deserves. No one does this unless they are undiagnosed (at her age, I doubt that) or stopped taking medication. Very tragic indeed.

  • abwhite88 Mar 21, 2014

    What in the world..

  • nutryb Mar 21, 2014

    No foul play just very very sad. Car was found down a nearby hill severely damaged. People saw her walking but didn't stop to help. :-( :-( :-(

  • Anne Walker Mar 21, 2014
    user avatar

    I hope her friends and family get enough answers to bring them comfort.

  • Sharon Davis Mar 21, 2014
    user avatar

    article does not indicate foul play.