Sheriff's dept. provides update on search for Swift

Friday, November 25, 2011

The search this past weekend for Karen Swift was composed of search personnel from the Dyer County Sheriff's Dept, the Dyer County Fire Dept., area rescue squads, and some volunteers from the community. Many locations in the county were searched, including the Obion River and the Whites Lake Area. The Obion River at Hwy. 78 is about 5 miles from the location Swift's car was found at. According to Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box, this proximity would make it a convenient place to discard or conceal evidence. Sheriff Box stated that is one reason they determined it to be an area of interest that needed to be searched, just as local lakes and wooded areas near Swift's car and her home.

Sheriff Box also noted that cell phone records show the last known activity from Swift's cell phone was at 5 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2011. That activity from her phone was reported to have been an automatic Internet access by the phone itself and not by an individual. The access was only detected by one cell phone tower, which made it impossible for the cellular providers to provide law enforcement with a precise location that can be triangulated when a phone has access on multiple towers. Cellular providers did give approximate coordinates and the distance of Swift's phone from the cell tower. The coordinates given and the actual distance to the cell tower are not the same, indicating to investigators that the information provided to them could be inaccurate. This caused investigators to request more detailed technical data from cellular providers and technicians.

Sheriff Box advised that investigators questioned the data that was provided, but they have thoroughly searched the locations and added other areas of interest into their search. These areas are within the range limits of the reporting sector antenna and of equal distance from the cellular tower as the distance reported during the 5 a.m. activity from Swift's phone.

Other locations in Dyer County, which are of equal distance of the phone activity to the cell phone tower, have been deemed as areas of interest and searched during the investigation are:

1. Location where Karen Swift's car was found on Millsfield Highway

2. Karen Swift's home on Willie Johnson Road

3. The Obion River on Highway 78

4. The Whites Lake area in western Dyer County

The Dyer County Sheriff's Office has currently recovered many items of potential evidence. They are not disclosing every item of evidence, which is normal in an active investigation.

Sheriff Box advised his department is conducting this missing person case as a criminal investigation with foul play involved, just as if they have a criminal suspect and will continue doing that unless foul play is ruled out. He also stated it is always critical to an investigation that they control when a potential suspect becomes aware of the evidence they hold against him or her. And by holding the evidence close to an investigation helps prevent potential suspects from being able to impede the investigation by developing false alibis, statements or destroying forensic evidence to avoid prosecution.

Sheriff Box stated the sheriff's office will maintain control of the investigation along with the assistance of the T.B.I. and continue to use every assisting agency and resource available to answer more questions about Swift's disappearance.

"If any evidence we hold could assist in locating Swift we would immediately release this item to the media or the public as we released photos of her car parked in the location it was found in hopes of receiving new information," said Box. "We will not release any information about any evidence found just to satisfy the curiosity and in no way will we take part of or participate in any press release that would exploit her or her family. We will not make any assumptions, or statements about this case, name persons of interest and suspects unless it is backed up by evidence and only then if it will be beneficial to this investigation."

In the above listed areas we have used the following resources to conduct the many searches of these areas:

. Dyer County Sheriff's Deputies, Sheriff's Investigators, Sheriff's Tracking Team

. Tennessee Highway Patrol Strike Teams, Aviation Unit, Cert Team, and many additional troopers.

. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agents, Crime Scene Unit, and Crime Lab.

. Tennessee Department of Corrections Fort Pillow Bloodhound Unit

. Lauderdale County Sheriff's Bloodhound Unit

. Scott County Missouri Sheriff's Search and Rescue Dogs including Cadaver Dogs

. Shelby County Tennessee Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit with Dogs including Cadaver Dogs

. Dyer, Lake, Obion, Lauderdale, Gibson, and Henry County Rescue Squads with boats, sonar and drag equipment.

. Dyer County, Millsfield, Bogota, Lenox, Bonicord and Finley Fire Dept's.

. Dyer County Emergency Management

. Personnel on horseback and many other local volunteers.

Sheriff's investigators are currently examining evidence they have collected in the case, as well as lab reports in order to provide them with more answers. They are still asking that anyone with information about Swift's disappearance to contact the Dyer County Sheriff's Department at 731-285-2802. Crime Stoppers of Dyer County is offering a cash reward for information that would lead to an arrest and conviction in this case, callers can reach Crime Stoppers at 731-285-TIPS (8477).

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  • Choctaw Transportation Company has a 4 acre storage yard near the Heloise, TN dock where they store up to 50 tons of fertilizer, manure, sand, stone, limestone, etc. and that company has and uses refrigerated trucks. Cadaver dogs could be used to search that yard. If it has been searched already maybe it should be searched again. The company can do its own search of its storage yard at Heloise and its refrigerated trucks, its office is on E. Court Street in Dyersburg, TN a short distance down the street from the Humane Society. Apparently Ms. Swift did landscaping, someone that hauls those kinds of materials might have had opportunity to observe her. I wonder if any of the other missing women or their neighbors had any landscaping done or were engaged in any activities or projects that would have required large quantities of fertilizer, manure, sand, stone, or limestone materials before they disappeared?

    -- Posted by LisaDe on Fri, Nov 25, 2011, at 7:43 AM
  • Although I am only a very interested resident, I believe Sheriff Box and his team have done an excellent job at trying to solve Karen Swift disappearance. I believe they have handled the investigation on a very professional basis and have made every effort to be through. I am very impressed with the Sheriff's Dept. professionalism and the limited amount of info they have released. It is a very wise decision on their part, even though all of us would like to more. In the best interest of the investigation, it is what must be done. I look forward to them finding Ms. Swift, so that it will provide closure to her parents, children and community.

    -- Posted by VeryInterestedResident on Sat, Nov 26, 2011, at 8:47 PM
  • Interesting where her cell phone last pinged Hwy 78 there is a refrigerated truck transport carrier nearby, Joe David Erwin Transportation, it has 2 employees see

    -- Posted by LisaDe on Sun, Nov 27, 2011, at 2:35 PM
  • LisaDe... Do your homework before spouting off about people and their business. Erwin doesn't have a refrigerated truck.. Goodness, don't throw someone's name around like that.

    -- Posted by GrGee on Sun, Nov 27, 2011, at 7:17 PM
  • My question is,

    What condition was the tire in that was flat?

    Was it a true flat tire, or was air just let out of it ?

    Why was the tire flat?

    Can it be proven that she rode on that flat for a period of time?

    And why do the PD believe she was heading to Dyersburg but when she pulled over she turned the vehicle around. What would make them think that?

    -- Posted by LadyKim on Mon, Nov 28, 2011, at 9:56 AM
  • My phone will dial the internet and other's sometimes and i don't know it untill i get ready to use it! Maybe swift or someone else hit the button by accident hope this helps and may God be with all tthat is searching and ESP.her and all her loved ones!

    -- Posted by chief_ty20 on Mon, Nov 28, 2011, at 10:12 AM
  • Another question I have is , was leaving the house in the wee hours of the morning something that this woman had done before? Was that a normal hour that she would get up and go somewhere , or is this the first time she left the home like that?

    -- Posted by LadyKim on Tue, Nov 29, 2011, at 8:20 AM
  • There is an internet site that says Erwin Transportation has a refrigerated truck for transporting meat. I don't have any personal knowledge of that all, simply going off what an internet site says.

    -- Posted by LisaDe on Tue, Nov 29, 2011, at 11:56 PM
  • Erwins Transport , Dyersburg Trucking Company, Tennessee ... - Block all results

    Erwins Transport is trucking company providing freight transportation services and hauling cargo. ... DYERSBURG, TN 38024 ... Coal, Meat, Garbage, USMail ...

    This is the 9th heading when you Google search: meat transportation dyersburg, tn

    So, I did not randomly make that up, noticed it was around intersection of Highways 78 and 104. I did not mean to offend anyone. Just saying an average Joe could fit Bill Warner's profile.

    -- Posted by LisaDe on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 12:16 AM
  • Well I do know his so called transportation company. He doesn't .... Repeat doesn't have a refrigerated truck... He has one trailer. Besides where did you in any of the information released decide to involve anyone who owns trucks??? Why don't we investigate everyone who lives near that intersection?

    -- Posted by GrGee on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 3:19 AM
  • Just to let you know... You drive your tractor(truck) to a depot ... You hook up to their preloaded reefer(refrigerator) haul it to wherever needed.. Drop off. Then proceed after your next haul. This might be why you see that on his list of items hauled.

    -- Posted by GrGee on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 3:28 AM
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