Sheriff's dept. awaits final Swift autopsy report

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and his investigators continue to wait on Karen Swift's final autopsy report from the Shelby County Coroner's Office before they enter the next phase of their investigation.

On Friday, Memphis media stated the autopsy report was complete. However, Box said his department has not received it.

"We have an active investigation where the final autopsy report still hasn't been completed yet," said Box. "Investigators continue to investigate this case and we are following up on any additional leads that come in. Each day that goes by is an additional day that we have an opportunity to add a potentially critical piece of evidence to this investigation."

He also noted when they do receive the report they would not be able to immediately release any of the details to the public since it was sealed in Dyer County Circuit Court by Judge Lee Moore.

In a court order dated on Dec. 21, 2011, Moore ordered the "autopsy report not be subject to disclosure as a public document and shall remain confidential pending the indictment and arrest of all subjects in the underlying homicide or pending the closure of the investigation into the underlying homicide."

Dyer County Sheriff Chief Investigator Terry McCreight and TBI Agent Nathan Bishop testified the release of the autopsy report "may seriously impede or impair the investigation."

Box said releasing the information to the public would not be helpful to the investigation at this point.

"It is an active criminal investigation and you can't put every piece of evidence that you have out there," said Box. "Once the autopsy report comes in, then we can proceed with the investigation. It is one of the additional key pieces we need. The judge's order gives us time to review the results before they go public."

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. An autopsy was performed on Swift's body by the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office in Memphis and she was buried in Pocahontas, Ark on Feb. 11.

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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  • Thanks for the update! The Memphis news did say the autopsy was completed. Maybe it is in transit to the sheriff now. Knowing that the sheriff does NOT have it yet makes me feel better about there still not being an arrest. I mean after all, how can you make an arrest without a cause of death? And personaly I do not need the details of that report. Only an arrest and conviction when the report is in hand will make me feel better.

    -- Posted by raspberrie on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 7:33 AM
  • By the same account, every day that goes by is also a chance for lost or faded evidence.Possible loss of witnesses,recollection of current witnesses.Not to mention another day for the killer to move on down the road.

    -- Posted by stepreen on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 8:28 AM
  • Yes, we cant put EVERY piece of evidence out there, can we? What??? What evidence have you put out there already? Nothing!

    The community is still Concerrned of a serial killer, It would be good to get this case moving!!

    -- Posted by dianabee on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 5:22 PM
  • Just praying the law can find the monster who took her away from her kids and family. Everyone quit

    judging the investigation. I'm sure no one wants to get that killer any worse than the sheriff's dept.

    -- Posted by yahooo on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 5:56 PM
  • A serial killer? Really? And they have given some of the details/evidence from the case. Everyone wants this resolved just as much as you do. But the FACT remains that without an official cause of death they would be jeopardizing the case by making an arrest for murder.

    -- Posted by raspberrie on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 6:01 PM
  • yes, from all reports from dyer county authorities this was a natural death. no cause for alarm. good luck next election sheriff!

    -- Posted by closerlook on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 10:26 AM
  • WOW,

    Didn't realize there were so many dumba** in Dyer County... What would you people have Law Enforcement to do??? Risk the entire investigation so you people can know RIGHT NOW who killed this woman??? This is not an episode of CSI or NCIS... And if it were your daughter, sister, or mother, would you want the Killer to go free because the evidence what compromised in the newspaper... Come on people get educated about the Law and Law Enforcement... The Sheriff's Dept. and TBI have done everything by the book... This takes time to process... Stop watching so much TV and do something constructive for a change...

    -- Posted by Travis H. on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 11:22 AM
  • Totally agree, Travis. If they aren't careful about what they release, they may not only have the killer get away, but the killer may get off on some crazy legality issue. Can you imagine knowing for a fact who the killer is, but not being able to bring them to justice because the investigation got botched?

    I think the Sheriff's Department probably has a good idea who the killer is. If there was a risk of a "serial killer", they would be putting out all kinds of warnings for personal safety. There haven't been any warnings like that out.

    -- Posted by hotpocket1971 on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 4:28 PM
  • There is no serial killer, more likely a crime of passion, hint, hint.

    Who was the women they wouldn't allow into the funeral?

    -- Posted by LonzoVol on Tue, Mar 6, 2012, at 4:54 PM
  • I bump heads with Travis H. and others from time 2 time, but he got this one right on..... Now lonzo got a gr8 ? that someone should answer.....

    -- Posted by DMASE on Wed, Mar 7, 2012, at 2:25 AM
  • In answer to your question, Travis H, if this were my mother, daughter, or sister, I'd hope for the crime to be solved and contrary to what you believe, there isn't some magic fairy dust that law enforcement is waiting to sprinkle on the case to solve it. The problem clearly is that they don't know HOW to solve it. In crimes like these, the passage of time doesn't make it easier to solve, it makes it harder. And, that doesn't come from a crime show, that comes from good old-fashioned statistics.

    -- Posted by Darby on Sat, Mar 10, 2012, at 9:12 AM
  • Darby:

    I would come closer to believing in "Magic Fairy Dust" then I would your way of thinking... You talk semi-intelligent except when it come to the Law... SO. Let's do it your way for kicks and giggles... Let say we expose all the evidence that the State and County have right now, just to see if something comes crawling out of some hole... OOOPs, Nothing Happens... EXCEPT!!! You've given the killer every opportunity to legally walk away SCOTT FREE just so you and every busy body in the area will know who the Law was investigating in the first place... DO US ALL a favor, stick to the everyday drama in your pity life and leave the real life stuff alone... Have a Nice Day... Dip-Stick!!!

    -- Posted by Travis H. on Tue, Mar 13, 2012, at 8:01 AM
  • The killer is going to die of old age before they ever get off their butts and make an arrest in this case. Totally unacceptable and unprofessional. If they think some autopsy report is going to provide the magic clue they are all waiting for, then they are just as much a bunch of Barney Fife types as we have all been suspecting.

    Travis H. must be related to one of the lamers in charge of this case (or married to him).

    -- Posted by uncle_fiesty on Tue, Mar 13, 2012, at 7:55 PM
  • uncle_fiesty:

    You and Darby ought to take some of his Magic Fairy Dust and spinkle it on each other... This is the only way you two can come close to existing in the real world...

    -- Posted by Travis H. on Wed, Mar 14, 2012, at 7:21 AM
  • Well, Travis H., I hate to disrespectfully disagree with you on this subject, considering we are talking about a murdered mother, which seems to be okay there in Dyer County, but, I do disagree with you. I guess in your "real world" crimes are not expected to be solved. I certainly wasn't asking for details...I am asking for law enforcement to SOLVE THE CRIME. You asked what we would do if it were our mother, sister, daughter...uh, I don't know. Expect some kind of progress after 4, almost 5 months?? Dipstick.

    -- Posted by Darby on Wed, Mar 14, 2012, at 11:11 PM
  • Darby:


    1st. If "you hate to disrespectfully disagree with me" Then Don't - Dipstick...

    2nd. Appearantly you don't live here... So you don't even know 2nd hand what is going on... This is exactly what I am talking about, This crime will not be solved on your time line.

    3rd. Unless you have some kind of Law Enforcement or DA background,you should keep your worthless opinion to yourself... All you, like so many other armchair CSI watching A**holes are doing is stirring the stink... Keep watching, maybe you will figure this out during the next episode...

    Some times there are cases that take years to put together, before justice is served... And if you would look past the end of your own nose, you would realize that... Have you seen anything in the media saying that the Dyer County Sheriff's Department or TBI has Flubbed this case up, Have you talked to any of the Family members to find out if they are upset about the investigation...

    NO YOU HAVEN'T !!!


    -- Posted by Travis H. on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 10:29 AM
  • Wow, Travis. Angry much? Makes me wonder a little bit about you really enjoy calling women dipsticks and Jack-Holes? Very macho of you.

    You seem similar to the jackhole that did this terrible thing to Karen, quite frankly.

    All I did was answer your very thoughtful and insightful question of "what if this were your mother, sister, daughter"?

    Do you speak to your mother, sister, or daughter this way, jackhole?

    -- Posted by Darby on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 11:33 PM
  • PS As these comments have clearly been driven off topic and into the disrespectful zone by one Travis H., I'll check other sources for information on any progress or lack thereof on this case. Anybody reading this, please pray for Karen's family and for this case to get into the hands of capable law enforcement personnel who will solve it.

    Enjoy your bitterness, Travis. And keep your hands to yourself.

    -- Posted by Darby on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 11:38 PM
  • Hey Darby,

    No, I don't speak to my Mother, Sister, or Daughter this way... They are actually intelligent women, I don't hit women either,I have been a defender of Women for 40 plus years... Even to the point of being wounded while serving the community in a domestic violence call...

    You insult the very people that provide this community protection, People that have worked endless hours searching every worm hole from Millsfield to the Mississippi River... You have NO IDEA what has been given up in our personal lives to solve this case, You have NO IDEA what evidence there is or where this case actually stands right now...

    Anger yes... It people like you that anger all of us, people that when it comes right down to it, JUST can't be patient and let the evidence speak for itself when the time is right... This case will be solved, it will come to an end for the family and community... But IDIOTS like you making STUPID comments will not make this happen any faster,

    And as far as keeping my hands to myself...

    "In your Dreams"!!!

    -- Posted by Travis H. on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 8:09 AM
  • All this back and forth B***S**T going on between the people is just plain Stupidity. An arrest is imminent and Id say the delay is on the part of the shelby county medical emaniners office, not the dyer county sherrifs dept. If they showeed up on the killers doorstep today ( or they think is the killer)arrested him,took him in, brought him to trial and didnt have enough evidence to convict, the killer would be another O J. Is that what you want?

    -- Posted by Kenny Ray on Tue, Apr 3, 2012, at 7:05 PM
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