Although a year has passed, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box says sheriff's investigators are making arrangements to take the case to trial.
"We are at the final stages of the investigation and we are pushing hard for an indictment or an arrest," said Box. "We still only have one person of interest in the case and everything is coming together as it should and we should be able to complete the investigation soon."
With no witnesses to Swift's murder, investigators have had to rely on interviews, highly technical data, circumstantial and physical evidence. Much of the physical evidence is DNA, which the TBI is just now finished processing.
"Next week, investigators will travel to the Nashville TBI forensics lab and pick up processed evidence in the case and bring it back to the sheriff's department," said Box. "Early on in the investigation you had to give investigators time to do their job. You couldn't push them to just come up with evidence just to make an arrest. It had to be prepared correctly and if it took a little while to do it properly and correctly then so be it. What matters is the final outcome and that is a murder conviction."
Box said some media outlets have incorrectly quoted him, including a recent misquote by a Memphis television station in saying that investigators stated Karen Swift's husband David Swift was not a suspect in the case.
"That statement has been corrected at my request and our statement has been throughout this investigation that we have not named a suspect, or publicly identified any person of interest," said Box. "And furthermore, we have not disclosed anyone as not being either a suspect or a person of interest."
Box continued that a lot of the investigation was spent dispelling rumors and fabricated stories that have made their way around the community. He and his investigators have worked to put those rumors to rest and now they are going to rely on the culmination of a year's hard work and let the evidence speak for itself.
"It gives us some relief that the case is nearly complete," said Box. "It has been strenuous on us and it has also been a strain on the community."
Karen Swift, a 44-year-old mother of four was reportedly last seen early Sunday morning, Oct. 30, 2011, by her husband David Swift at their home on Willie Johnson Road (just off of Harness Road). She had filed for divorce from David Swift, on Oct. 10, 2011, but still resided with him and their two daughters at their residence. Within a short walking distance from her home, her white 2004 Nissan Murano was found abandoned a few hours later on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, on Millsfield Highway near the intersection of Harness Road with a flat tire.
An investigation into her disappearance continued until Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, when her body was found by a cemetery caretaker near Bledsoe Cemetery in Dyer County. This location was adjacent to the historical lighted cross which is just off of Harness Road.
After the body was positively identified as Karen Swift, Box stated the case was being investigated as a murder. 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. In March 2012, the medical examiner's final autopsy report was released to sheriff's investigators and the Dyer County District Attorney's Office. The findings of the report were sealed from the public under a court order. In September, Box stated they had a person of interest in the case and were preparing for a murder trial.
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, 2011, 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.