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Sheriff, DA speak on status of Swift investigation

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box (right) and Investigator Calvin Johnson (left) go over information while conducting a search of the Millsfield for evidence in the Karen Swift case area back in November. Box and his investigators have made the Swift case their top priority since her disappearance on Oct. 30. Box stated they would go into the next phase of the investigation after the autopsy report comes back from the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office.
The investigation into the murder of Karen Swift is entering its second month and Dyer County Sheriff's investigators are still awaiting the autopsy report from the Shelby County Medical Examiner's office.

Swift's body was found near Bledsoe Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box, as well as his investigators, the TBI and the DA's office have been patiently waiting for the report since that time. Swift was reported missing on Oct. 30 and her body was found almost a month and a half later by a preacher and his friend. Box stated at the time, the missing-person case would take the form of a murder investigation due to the placement of the body and the apparent injuries.

Although the public is anxious to hear the results of the autopsy, Box said the time the medical examiner's office is taking is normal for a case such as this. He explained that in a routine autopsy, with very little decomposition, an exam would normally take two to three days before the body can be released. The final written report would normally follow within 30 to 45 days after the release of a body.

"In the Swift case, the body was recovered 42 days after her disappearance, which resulted in additional stages of decomposition," said Box. "This can cause an autopsy to take longer. Also, in this case, examiners are conducting additional detailed exams on certain parts of the body, which is also preventing the release of the body until the exams on those parts are completed."

Box added the medical examiner's office could also be communicating with other agencies in the process and that could take additional time.

"In a homicide case, the medical examiner's office also may recover items that may have to be analyzed by the crime lab for DNA processing or other lab work for investigative purposes," said Box. "Investigators and these agencies work hand in hand together to answer every possible question and find evidence about the manner and cause of death."

Box noted some people would like to see them make an arrest in the case as quickly as possible, but said they must be patient and wait until all of the reports are complete.

"Although our office has quite a bit of physical evidence in this case, we have not and will not name any suspect, until we receive all results of lab processing that we need to complete the investigation," said Box.

Information about the case has also been the topic of discussion and some have requested more details be released to the public. District Attorney General Phil Bivens stated for the sake of the investigation, very little would be released at this time.

"It is an ongoing homicide investigation and until somebody is charged, there cannot be a lot of details released," said Bivens.

When asked whether or not Swift's case is tied to any other cases with similar circumstances, Box said it is not.

"This office, currently has no evidence to link this case to any other missing person or homicide case anywhere," said Box. "Even though the sex, race, and other physical traits of other missing persons may be similar to Karen Swift, this case has not been linked to any of those cases by any other law enforcement agency."

Box said they would continue to wait on the results before they enter the next phase of their investigation.

Swift, a 44-year-old mother of four was last seen early Sunday morning, 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 abandoned on Sunday, Oct. 30, on Millsfield Highway near the intersection of Harness Road with a flat tire. Her body was found near Bledsoe Cemetery in Dyer County on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011.

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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They can do it in an hour on BONES

-- Posted by stepreen on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 9:44 AM

To the police and state gazette thanks for update. I am very glad they at least let us know whether Karen Swift's case was related or connected to cases of other missing persons. I hope they solve this case.

-- Posted by LisaDe on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 9:54 AM

Thank you for the update. I check every day to see if any news is released, and have been a little concerned that the public seems to be out of the information loop. Just remember you have scared people out there wondering about her/his own safety in this area. I'm praying for wisdom for the LE, patience and peacefulness for the people involved, and that Karen's sweet children are able to rest their heads at night and smile thinking about their sweet mom who was called to heaven way before her time. We aren't able to bring her back, but I do hope justice is served to the murderer of this beautiful young woman. Her children's lives will never be the same because of one HORRIBLE person. Max sentence aka "We don't tolerate murders in Dyer County, son." See you when you're 85 years old maybe. (fingers crossesd)

-- Posted by Molby on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 9:00 PM

Interesting..........so, if a killer wants to have lots and lots of time to murder and maim, all he would need to do is move to Dyersburg, Tn.. It seems once there he would have at least 60-90 days to roam free before the autopsy results are "shared amongst the different agencies".


I suppose with that premise in mind, he might also find the time to jump on a plane, fly to another state (or country) , buy a house, get a job, raise a family, apply for social security, and die peacefully.

I thought the next time I heard about this case, it would be due to them arresting the killer of this poor woman. Instead, it is a press conference to point fingers and explain why they haven't.


Stay tuned for the next press conference in the upcoming months. (hopefully it will be in the next 60 to 90 days before anybody else gets murdered.) The next press conference will hold a really big surprise on the Holly Bobo case. It will sound something like this:

"You see folks, sometimes when people go walking off into the forest, it takes them a really really long time to find their way back home again, but I tell you this much, we sure are gonna be happy to see her again when she comes walking back up the driveway".

End of press conference.

-- Posted by uncle_fiesty on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 3:25 PM

No others are in danger in Dyersberg or anywhere else in the world, with regard to Karen's situation.....! Scorned love is an unpredictable incident by normal, sweet, kind, compassionate, wonderful people that loose it, only in desperation of losing the love, affection and passion of the one they love!!!! The pain of believing someone else is the receipiant of that love and passion drives one to the point of insanity!!! Crime of passion!!! The guilty person is dieng every day, from the pain of that loss of love and life that night!!! So people of Dyersburg....you have nothing to fear from the person that took Karen's life!!! That person needs your prayers.........Of most interest to me right now, are those 4 beautiful children!!!

-- Posted by pisince1970 on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 6:52 PM

I would think if someone was hurting that bad they would come forward and confess. I don;t think that if they felt that bad that they would let the family hurt waiting for closure and to be able to bury their loved one. No I can not buy that statement.

-- Posted by shayjbell on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 5:27 PM

.."Why, that it is important for the citizens to be informed of how cases and investigations are handled"..

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown says:

We could use a strong accountabi­lity system not dependent on appeals, but rather oversight. The public/cit­izens have a right to know exactly how decisions are made and cases are handled. It does not have to be in the midst of the case but certainly afterward there should be transparen­cy. If there isn't, how can we address issues of corruption­, incompetan­ce, and error?

We need to know in order to fix problems and hold people accountabl­e for what is supposed to be work done on behalf of the citizens. Somehow "the interest of the state" seems to preclude the citizenry which is odd considerin­g the state IS the citizenry, well, at least in a democratic republic with a constituti­on.."

-- Posted by wolfscratch on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:02 AM

Why do people even think this case would be related to Holly Bobo case. Theres no way this case would be related to that case. I believe the police pretty well know who done this but have to have there evidence just right before they make an arrest. And i really believe they dont have to look very far. This will probably be a circumstantle type case. I still believe they will have the murderer before long.

-- Posted by string31 on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 6:06 PM

What this case needs is the investigators out of Sidney, Montana to come over and show Dyersburg how things are done. Sherry Anderson disappeared on a run on a Saturday morning. Her body has not been found (yet) but they have two suspects IN CUSTODY. Yes, it is possible to take somebody into custody, Dyersburg.

-- Posted by Darby on Sat, Jan 21, 2012, at 12:35 PM

it's now feb 1st, 2012. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by closerlook on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 1:55 PM

If anybody can find a case, in any state, where they hold a body for this long, please let me know.Seems like somebody is confused around there, or has lost control of the situation.

-- Posted by sophiebelle on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 4:54 PM

Body released pray for the family as they prepare to lay her to rest. Now pray also the LE will make an arrest. This poor family needs closure.

-- Posted by shayjbell on Fri, Feb 3, 2012, at 12:39 PM

I believe law enforcement may have already figured out who did it and so they don't have to make any rash moves.

I have concluded that not only as a psychic who meditated on the case but I am also going on some of the television shows that I watch Like a gifted man who knows that the spirit of the dead can visit their killers and begin to get into their heads and before long the guilty begins to feel such guilt they have to confess or at least know they will be outed very soon.

The way spirits get through to humans is through dreams, nightmares and thoughts they put into ones head that begins to eat at them until they cannot take it any longer, and they begin to make mistakes

-- Posted by Cvt6702 on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 8:38 AM

45 days since this article was published and still no arrest and no word from LE on how the investigation is progressing?

-- Posted by LisaDe on Tue, Feb 28, 2012, at 12:33 PM

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Karen Swift search, Nov. 19, 2011