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."
"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.