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Sheriff's dept., TBI awaiting coroner's report on Swift

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dyer County Sheriff's Department investigators and the TBI are still awaiting the results from the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office for the cause of death in the Karen Swift murder case.

Chief Investigator Terry McCreight stated on Monday the medical examiner's office in Memphis had not sent their findings and noted it may take awhile before they complete it. He added the detailed process is time consuming and coroners were doing what they could to finish the report.

"They are working in a timely manner," said McCreight.

Swift's body was sent to the medical examiner's office on Saturday, Dec. 10, after it was discovered by a passerby near Bledsoe Cemetery, which is off of Harness Road. Her identity was confirmed the next day using Swift's dental records. Sheriff Box stated on Monday, Dec. 12, his department was pursuing the case as a murder investigation due to the placement of Swift's body and apparent injuries to it.

Swift, a 44-year-old mother of four, was last seen in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 30, by her husband at their home on Willie Johnson Road after she reportedly returned from a Halloween party. Her white 2004 Nissan Murano was later found on that day on Millsfield Highway near the entrance to Harness Road with a flat tire.

The Dyer County Sheriff's Department is still asking anyone who had contact with Swift before her disappearance, recalls seeing anyone near her vehicle on Millsfield Highway on Oct. 30, or has any other information about the case to contact the Dyer County Sheriff's Office at 731-285-2802 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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Ms Swift is so pretty. How could any one harm her. I am so sorry this happened to you, her family. My prays go out to you.

-- Posted by seniorcomment on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 10:27 AM

who knew it could take over 10 days for an autopsy report? Perhaps additional testing is being done?

-- Posted by valleypeach on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 5:18 PM

it doesnt matter how long it takes,as long as the person or persons are caught that did such a horrible thing and punished to the full extent of the law.

-- Posted by snooks on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 5:47 PM

Doesn't matter how long it takes to cause and manner of death as long as it is done right. Every little bit of evidence might matter in holding the correct person or persons responsible. I feel truly sorry for her family this Christmas season and all they have been through since the end of October and will continue to go through, possibly the rest of their lives. Bothers me someone could do senseless violence like this and is walking free tonight, lets pray they won't be free too much longer. I read in another article someone was saying local police are to blame for not finding Karen sooner. Only the police know how they coordinated their searches, no assumptions should be made about when she was killed or discarded. I think local authorities have done a very good job and conducted themselves in a manner Dyersburg should be proud despite being under the constant scrutiny of local and national media pressure. They still are not finished with this case so I think they deserve the continued support and help of the community.

-- Posted by LisaDe on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 7:09 PM

This will sound very judgemental of me and I apologize for this in advance, but, the Dyersburg authorities, in my opinion, did an absolutely terrible job of searching for Karen. They didn't find her, those two men just came upon her, but this was in an area that was close to where her car was found and close to her home...and law enforcement has admitted that this particular area wasn't even in their search grid. Why??? It makes absolutely no sense. Dyersburg authorities get zero credit from me. If they solve this case (and it is a very big IF if their prior inactions are any indication) then I will praise them. Again, I am sorry for being so judgemental. I just call it how I see it.

-- Posted by Darby on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 7:30 PM

Rest assured that whoever committed this murder is reading the paper and watching TV to find out exactly what the law enforcement authorities know. They have found the body and are closer to solving the murder. We all know that there always comes a pay day. Either here on earth or the hereafter. I would not be in that persons shoes for anything in this world. What we need to be worrying about is that he does not commit another crime like this. God knows who it is and he tells us "vengenace is mine saith the Lord" He will most certainly get his due someday.

-- Posted by Gerty on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 10:12 PM

My prayers are with the family and friends of Karen Swift. I pray that they find this killer before he/she goes and kills someone else. This person is still on the loose, still may be in the area or has gone some distance. I feel for the Dyer Co residents their fear knowing that this person or persons are still out there, please for the safety of others, find this person or persons and hang em' high, justice must be done, not just in this case, but in all cases. This world has let too many guilty people get off way to easy! They should be punish the same way they committed the crime, and tax payers will be saving alot of their money, and not going to waste, supporting all of these criminals! Justice must be done! The laws must be stricter!

-- Posted by liv2ryd on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 10:47 PM

This is such a tragedy. While we don't know all the facts regarding the investigation, it is strange that the body was so close to where she ended up missing yet it took forever to find. The problem with this country is we have a legal system not a justice system. Far too often as liv2ryd said the guilty are not punished, while many times innocent people go to prison. Part of the problem is some of the lawyers and judges we have.

-- Posted by personwithvoice on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 8:54 AM

Her HUSBAND DID This,Her body was close to her home, her car was close to her home,Last person to see her was her HUSBAND....99.9 percent of the time it's someone who is in a relationship with the person!

-- Posted by DBURGIRL on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 9:06 AM

Known facts do indeed point to the husband. Also interesting to note is the tremendous disinformation campaign going on over on Topix obviously done to spread rumors and tarnish reputations as well as re-victimizing the victim in this case. Seems as though the good people who are screaming "David is innocent" have a lot to be concerned about.

-- Posted by Lynns Opinion on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 2:35 PM

I believe her husband did it all along. He was a contolling person and thats why Karen wanted a divorce. She had told friends that if she came up missing it would be him. Well she came up missing and now theyve found her body. I dont believe that he stood there and watched her leave that night. He definetly knows what happened to her. When she came up missing it took him until around 3:00 pm the next day before he notified the police. And that was only because a friend of Karens called the police first. Karen did not willingly leave her sick child that night. Thats proof enough to say there was something bad going between them in thier home that night.

-- Posted by string31 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 10:09 PM

I really wonder what else is so important right now that the medical examiner hasn't made this top priority...we're going on 2 weeks that they have had Karen. In Tennessee, women go missing and that's that, usually. Here, we finally have a body but don't seem any closer to figuring out what happened or who did it. Why?? Why aren't crimes a priority in Tennessee?

-- Posted by Darby on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 8:07 PM

Theyre putting it together. We just need to be patient. It will all come together. This is a case that takes time. But im sure there will be an arrest ! Everybody just hang in there.

-- Posted by string31 on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 12:45 PM

There are rumors of a possible confession, is this true?

-- Posted by raspberrie on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 6:11 PM


-- Posted by xizzi on Sun, Dec 25, 2011, at 12:21 AM

To all the women out there: Never let your husband or boyfriend know you are leaving, never even act like you could leave. Play whatever game you have to, then when you can leave, just do it and don't let him find you - the sooner the better! I was in a similar situation and found out later that my husband asked his brother to help him kidnap me and bury me in the California desert, very scarey.

-- Posted by xizzi on Sun, Dec 25, 2011, at 12:25 AM

I got a family member that barely dodged a bullet from her husband. Just lucky the gun jammed. This really brings back thoughts of what could of happened to her. But she made it out.

-- Posted by string31 on Sun, Dec 25, 2011, at 2:38 PM

xizzi - The only problem with your recommendation is that in Karen's case, they had been married before, divorced, then remarried. They have 4 children together, two young daughters still remaining in the home. Karen couldn't have just left, and probably didn't want to just leave. She seemed to be hoping for a peaceful transition and the kids all have a good relationship with both of them...I hope this case is solved soon as it is dragging out longer than what seems appropriate. I've said it once and I'll say it again...Tennessee Law Enforcement needs to get on the stick with their crime solving.

-- Posted by Darby on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 2:00 PM

It takes a fool to ridicule the law enforcement in regards to them not finding the body. They put in lots of hours and hard work during the search. Three miles from her home, doesn't sound far away, yet befor the discovery of her body, not a soul came forward with a credible reason to focus the search in a specific direction. Three miles from any given point, without a direction; yields a six mile diameter. One could draw a six mile diameter circle on a map and easily hide an adult-sized object in the given circle well enough to prevent its being found for a few months. Furthermore, her body was under kudzuu vines. Kudzuu vines grow extremely fast and wrap and conceal practically everything in the area that they establish themselves in. The vines often span washes and holes and would allow just about anything tossed into such a wash or hole to fall through, with a canopy of large leaves falling back into place, easily covering the object. As an avid atv rider, I am very familiar with kudzuu and have spent many falls anxiously awaiting a good frost, which shrivels up the leaves and vines rapidly, exposing holes and washes. I'm confident that I could hide an object, even as large as a washing machine, in some kudzuu covered terrain in summer and early fall and point the general direction of it and until you practically stepped on it, you couldnt find it, yet within a week of a hard frost it'd be visible from several hundred feet away....seems the officers handling this case are doing a great job to me. They haven't rushed out and tried to prosecute the husband without due process, as some of you have so wrongfully done.

-- Posted by makin sense on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 5:35 PM

I agree with string31 and makin sense. The fact they have kept Karen's body so long tells me there was probably something to test, to look at closer, which is probably good news in terms of them having some good evidence as to what happened to her and maybe some evidence of who was involved. I think law enforcement has done a very good job so far. They have kept Karen's case going giving no more info than absolutely necessary and not jumping to any conclusions yet, and I feel they are committed in obtaining justice for Karen and her kids. Like so many others on here I think the husband is a logical person of interest under the circumstances but none of us really know that, suspecting it and proving are two different things. It would be horrible if the perp is a stranger because that means somebody is out there doing this and it might be difficult to get a fix on who it is. We just don't know yet and until they make an arrest the investigation is still open, even the smallest bit of information might be something.

-- Posted by LisaDe on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 7:00 PM

I hate to sound like a jerk, I really do, but, you would be foolish to have much confidence in your law enforcement if you ever have a loved one come up missing, it seems. Karen disappeared on Halloween weekend. She wasn't found for 40 days. 40 days! And you say that law enforcement is doing a "very good job"?? Wow. What would people consider a "bad job"?? 40 days. Law enforcement didn't find her, two people checking the cemetary found her...and I think that law enforcement isn't giving out any information because they simply don't have any. I have a bad feeling that I can check here in 40 days and won't see a resolution. I hope I am wrong. I am not leaning one way or the other towards her husband, all I care about is that her killer is found. But, giving what I've seen about how crimes are solved (not solved) in Tennessee, that's a long shot.

-- Posted by Darby on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 7:46 PM

I'm puzzled as to why some have the idea that law enforcement personnel are some weird type of super humans that have special abilities or something that allow them to pull stuff out of thin air to solve crimes. The officers are merely humans, just as you and I. Their job is further complicated by the system that forces them to follow certain procedures and policy. They must dot every "i" and cross every "t" or they run the risk of allowing a killer to go free. It's possible that they hav an idea of who the killer is but cant secure a warrant until the crime lab has processed all the evidence. For one to run down a department for not making an arrest within a few months of a crime, shows their own ignorance, for it is obvious they are not aware of what goes on around them. Crimes often go unsolved all over the world for months....some for years...and some forever. I just cant understand why all these people that have the ability to find a body so quickly didnt show up to offer their help in the days following her disappearance. Their wacko kinda special instincts or whatever they call it could have been helpful. If they deny having such abilities themselves, then why are they suggesting others should have such abilities?

-- Posted by makin sense on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 10:43 PM

I keep reading that all the evidence points to the husband, yet the "evidence" that they are claiming is, in no way, evidence. They are quick to say that he is the last one to see her alive. Yet they dont know that to be true. It's merely and assumption. In fact, I'd argue that he wasn't the last to see her. And to say that he is guilty because he didnt call the police sooner is absurd. Obviously, whomever says that has never had a spouse that ran around on them nor have they had a friend that experienced the same. When a spouse is out partying till after midnight and then leaves again after stopping in briefly, I think it's perfectly normal for one to assume that the spouse was willingly with someone else (especially when she has already filed for divorce). Once he spoke with friends and realized she wasnt with them, did he not report her missing? I'd argue that he acted perfectly normal under those circumstances. Lastly, to say he is guilty simply because a husband was guilty in similar cases,.....well that doesn't even need addressing. So, all the "evidence" that the public is aware of, actually points to someone other than the husband.

-- Posted by makin sense on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 11:14 PM

Interesting. On the one hand, we should give trained law enforcement a pass on solving crimes or finding a body in a timely fashion, yet, on the other hand, we should completely disregard the soon-to-be divorced husband of a missing woman? Now that's weird and foolish.

-- Posted by Darby on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 9:35 AM

Also, yes, I do expect law enforcement to have "special abilities" such as finding bodies or solving crimes...I can say with 100% confidence that if I personally logged "hundreds" of hours with nothing to show for it in my line of work, I'd be fired with no notice. If my department logged "hundreds" of hours with no results, we'd look pretty foolish.

-- Posted by Darby on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 9:39 AM

I was reading (makin sense) comment. And it plainly states in media report that it was after 2:37 pm the next day before husband ever called the police. And it also states that dispatch told the friend that called first at 2:37pm that the husband needs to call. Who would call waiting that long to call the police being perfectly normal. And you dont know that Karen left willingly that night. Her tire was already flat when she turned on to Millsfield road. You could tell that by the mud all over the side of the tire. So yeah the husband definetly is a suspect. It will be soon khown for sure.

-- Posted by string31 on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 10:31 AM

Darby, you could use your special gift to make millions...anytime something or someone is lost or missing then you could easily show the world where it is. It's obvious you've never taken part in such a search. I have. Several years ago a friend of mine drowned and dozens of volunteers, including myself, spent an entire week searching for his body. It was a frustrating week for everyone involved. we just couldnt understand why we couldnt recover the body....accusations started flying around, questions circulated, tempers often flared...but finally the recovery was made. and the size of that search grid (and the body was recovered within the grid)- approxiamtely one acre. Before the recovery of Karen's body, there was nothing at all to suggest that it was that close to her home. For you to suggest that you could find a body-sized article within an alotted time, with no direction to focus your search is ridiculous.... And I would gladly pocket any money that you feel comfortable wagering on such a bet.

-- Posted by makin sense on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 11:23 AM

String31, You are right. I dont know that she left willingly. Just as you dont know that she didn't. I'm merely basing my assumptions on logic. The two divorced once before without him killing her (or if he did, then she sure had a good medical staff). The claim that he'd never let her go without killing her, therefor has no merit. We know from police statements that the body was decomposed enough to prevent identification by a visual means, yet there were obvious injuries to her remains, as to label it a homicide. Its not logical to say that one could kill another with such injuries, without leaving signs of an altercation. One can only conclude that the home was not the murder scene. A man that thought a murder through, well enough to leave no evidence behind, wouldnt have driven her car out of the drive after flattening it. He'd have waited to flatten it. We also know that she was out partying till the wee hours of the morning, only taking a break to pick her sick child up to run her home to her husband. It's not logical to say that the husband and wife went somewhere to fight, so the kids wouldn't hear them. (I read that claim in another article) As an individual that went through a divorce myself, I never called authorities to report a missing spouse when my spouse was out running around. I figured she was grown and knew the way home. I did, however, call a friend of hers, a time or two to see if they'd seen her. I might would have called and reported her missing, after a day or so, had she not showed up but it never went that long. Thus, my claim, that the husband acted normal in this regards. A third person is nearly always in the picture when someone files for divorce. Its logical to say the same applies in her divorce proceedings. It is also logical to say that a married person (especially one that has filed for divorce) sometimes slips away from the house (especially after having their party cut short by an unforseen circumstance) to spend time with the third person. Its also logical to say that in most of those situations, the person slipping away doesn't usually drive far from the house for such a rendezvous, for they intend to return promptly. I guess the husband could have followed her and in a jealous rage killed her, but then, there'd be a third person with some knowledge of the murder, which raises a good pooint..maybe there is....and maybe that third person cant come forth because it'd ruin his marriage as well...maybe....but I still tend to think that in a such a rage, one wouldnt cover his tracks so well. My guess is she was killed in or just outside the third person's vehicle, right there beside where she was found, and merely tossed to the wayside.

-- Posted by makin sense on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 12:24 PM

Tire being already slit as she pulls out of harness onto Millsfield rules out meeting anyone! Not all halloween parties are where you go to pick up people. I went to one that weekend but it wasnt that kind of party. Well anyway the case will be solved eventually. Her car and her body being so close to home says alot as to who may of did this.

-- Posted by string31 on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 12:58 PM

I would imagine that Karens killer would not have wanted her body to be found. So I tend to think that maybe it was someone not from the area , someone not familiar with Kudzuu , someone who thought that where they placed her was a great hiding place , not knowing that once a frost came that all the coverage of the body that they thought they had , would be gone.

I am from the north and I am guessing , but wasn't her husband from the area? Wouldn't you think he would have known that she would be found there ?

Just a guess. Not that I am saying he couldn't have done it , just thinking outloud ...


-- Posted by LadyKim on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 2:51 PM

All right, Makin Sense, even though this is no laughing matter, you made me giggle just a little. I am sorry about your friend. My whole point was wondering how come you and others praised law enforcement for doing a good job so far when my observations have been that in 40 days, they didn't produce any results. Hundreds of hours, nothing to show for it. And to this day, there are still no new results. Now, I'm not a trained law enforcement officer, no police academy training, no special skills whatsoever which makes this even more disturbing. Hundreds of hours have been logged by professionals and she was found within a pretty standard grid area that could have and should have been searched. But, I guess if you find acceptable a case of a missing mother of 4 who was then found murdered to be a case that you don't expect to be solved for months or years then that is your right. If I could make a bet with you that was meaningful and brought Karen's killer to justice, whoever that may be, I'd gladly do that.

-- Posted by Darby on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 3:18 PM

OK it has been many weeks with no updates from the sheriff, the least you can do is make a statement that there are no new developments or something. Just anything to let us all know that you are still on the case. I understand you can not give details but my Lord the family the community and the tax payers deserve to hear something.

-- Posted by shayjbell on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 9:26 PM

It had to be someone that new the grave yard was there and that it wasnt visited anymore besides who keep the place up. I think it was someone who knew her as well and lived in her area. Has anyone consider the man that posioned her dog,she did go to the law about that n he spent time in jail for it, maybe he cud have done it. I pray and hope they find the person or persons who done this to her. Instead of all this assuming the hubby done it, we all need to be praying for her family and the kids that they get peace and justice. God Bless the Swift Family.

-- Posted by dont assume on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 10:36 AM

Talk on topix for a peaceful protest on the court square tomorrow. People want to let Box know that they want to be updated, even if he has nothing to say but no new evidence. Many think he has gone into hiding. How many of you are going?

-- Posted by shayjbell on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 4:13 PM

Last that we all heard is that they are still doing forensic testing on the body in Memphis. Is that right or not?

Im thinking thats what Box last said. So I just figure hes waiting to hear back from them.

-- Posted by string31 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 6:42 PM

I wonder if Karen's husband drove to Hot Springs Village Ark. right before Christmas....just saw the news taking place there.... a body recovered...thought to be the body of a 46 yr old mother of three who recently seperated from her husband. the body was found approx. five and half miles from her vehicle. The woman was last seen leaving a Christmas party on Dec. 21 Authorities there have not positively identified the body but locals feel certain it's the missing woman.

-- Posted by makin sense on Sun, Jan 1, 2012, at 8:59 PM

actually the news article stated that she had made it home from the christmas party and went to bed....was gone the next morning. Interesting

-- Posted by makin sense on Sun, Jan 1, 2012, at 9:16 PM

Makin Sense - yes, quite an epidemic these days of women going to bed yet not being in bed the next morning...

-- Posted by Darby on Mon, Jan 2, 2012, at 5:27 PM

I noticed that the cops handed her remains over to the Memphis coroner and then bought themselves a couple of weeks by saying that the autopsy for cause of death would take that long. (Something that would normally take a day or less.) Here it is 3 weeks since then, and not a peep or an arrest out of law enforcement.


Why don't you guys go ahead and make up a file folder titled "unsolved" and stack it next to the Holly Bobo paperwork ? I guess raiding convienance stores is a lot easier than solving a crime such as this, eh ?

-- Posted by uncle_fiesty on Wed, Jan 4, 2012, at 12:06 PM

Uncle Fiesty...hear, hear. It is hearbreaking how little effort is being put forth there in Dyer County law enforcement.

-- Posted by Darby on Wed, Jan 4, 2012, at 9:06 PM

The story that (makin sense) is talking about where the Hot Springs woman come up missing after she came home from the Christmas party. Next morning woman is nowhere to be found. I figure the husband took her out just like was done here in Dyersburg. Very similar. Its such a shame. The kids will never see there mom alive here on earth ever again.

-- Posted by string31 on Thu, Jan 12, 2012, at 9:39 PM

String31 - A very huge similiarity between this case and the case you are talking about is the complete lack of capability of law enforcement to solve the crime.

The person in Hot Springs Village was seen leaving a Christmas Party with her boyfriend. The boyfriend pulled the "oh, I don't know, when I went to bed she was here and then when I woke up, she was gone" trick. Her local law enforcement barely tried to find her. Her body was finally found by a large group of volunteer searchers, around an hour after they started searching, but around 10 days or so after she was reported missing. Yes, average searchers did in an hour what law enforcement claimed to be doing for around 10 days.

Common theme with Karen Swift and this lady (Dawna Natzke), unfortunately. Now, you know where they solve crimes? Sidney, Montana. They have two probable suspects behind bars for the murder of Sherry Arnold. Take a note, Tennessee and Arkansas. Take better care of your victims!

-- Posted by Darby on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:54 PM

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Karen Swift search, Nov. 19, 2011