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Sheriff: Final stages of Swift investigation, pushing for an arrest

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary since Karen Swift was reported missing and presumably the day she was murdered.

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.

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I was wondering if they were ever gonna arrest anyone for this crime!!Hopefully it wasn't the husband,these children have already lost their mother and now they would lose their father.So sad,my thoughts and prayers are with them.Now if law enforcement would solve the other missing person case,then we would truly have JUSTICE!!!!

-- Posted by jusdisgusted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012, at 10:35 AM

hope the correct 'person of interest', if indeed this is a true statement, and that person of interest is the person who committed this crime. however, this newspaper has a habit of showing the accused people in our community's mug-shot, and many are automatically driven to think of these people as guilty as charged (the law says they are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, as this reader understands the law). wish they would wait until the court date, and report the charge the d.a. has pleaded down to, before broadcasting the mug shots all over our area. let that reporter go to the court house and find out just who is guilty of what before plastering the picture all over the front pages of ur fish wrap. not just be a blotter from the police/& other law enforcement agencies. many times the law enforcement agencies are in error. one question, was that photo of the lady doctor who took the $42,000+ check to court w/her the other day a mug shot or was it(the photo) taken at another place, thus another time?

-- Posted by closerlook on Thu, Nov 1, 2012, at 12:59 PM

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Karen. I have been praying for them. I saw her two little girls in town Tuesday night, which was the second time that I have seen them out, and my heart is just crushed for them. I have also prayed for all of the law enforcement that God would lead them and guide them to the truth of the matter.

-- Posted by M1234 on Thu, Nov 1, 2012, at 9:33 PM

I hope the husband isn't the person of interest because if so, just remember the Powell case. One whole year is more than ample time for law enforcement to work their investigation, so if they don't have it bagged and tagged and logged by now they ain't got it at all and somebody that did this is just walking around free.

-- Posted by LisaDe on Thu, Nov 1, 2012, at 10:29 PM

This case is botched..... face it... They are still asking for the publics help..... If it isn't the husband and they had problems... They will pin it on him ..... they don't want a cold case.....

-- Posted by DMASE on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 12:34 AM

Seems like someone sure got upset about my comment yesterday! All I said was it's about time the husband went down for this! Guess that was a little close to home for someone to see in the paper and they thought it had to be removed. Too bad! Truth hurts doesn't it? It's a shame your "newspaper" is controlled by the "powers that be" in that area. What will you do when the man is arrested? Pretend it didn't happen? Oh yeah, I forgot, you will say he was framed! Open your eyes sheep, the guy is a murderer.

-- Posted by Lynns Opinion on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 9:20 AM

Well Dang Lynn.... Seems like u know something that we don't know.... Fill us in... Thats why we have the court system in America. I mean if u r dat sure, then help the cops out because its obvious they are struggling on this case...

-- Posted by DMASE on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 10:59 AM

Well as long as the investagation is taking they probably will have the right person who done this. I know its been a year, but i know they are making sure to get it right before they walk this person into the courtroom. Im sure the person is getting real nervous knowing that they are so close to arresting him. I really believe DEMASE has got it right. Its sad but i feel thats the case. If it is him he must be nervous. But if its not him he has nothing to worry about.

-- Posted by string31 on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:30 PM

this d a will probably plea bargain the case to something much less regardless. blame it on the judge y'all! i surely wouldn't want to sign on to this as being a sure fired guilty person regardless of what this law enforcement bunch does. they got an election in 2 years, and they gonna arrest somebody tween now and then. they probably don't want the trial before election, truth be known.

-- Posted by closerlook on Sat, Nov 17, 2012, at 12:55 PM

I think because it has been so long whoever they might arrest for this crime their lawyer will be able to say they must not have had it too together, in this amount of time evidence degrades, memories fade, witnesses move or pass away. This delay doesn't build a stronger and stronger case, just the opposite. I think maybe LE have nothing. They have been saying they are close to an arrest for several months, months turn into years and its been more than a year now. Meantime whoever did this is free on the street. I don't think they are sweating anything, they are probably laughing at LE and the community if they are still around the area. They have had plenty of time to leave and re-build a life somewhere else, even in another country if they wanted to.

-- Posted by LisaDe on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 6:53 PM

Im sure they know who did this. It all adds up to one person. Its not hard to figure it out. When they get the evidence in place, in which they will, then they will arrest the person. In the meantime everybody needs to be patient. Im sure hes getting nervous knowing it wont be long now. Karen wanted out and it cost her her life. So sad.

-- Posted by string31 on Mon, Dec 10, 2012, at 9:56 PM

Well this article was brought to our attention in Nov. 2012 and it is now Feb.2014 and I still NO arrest made!! Just horrible.

-- Posted by Concernedcitizen30 on Thu, Feb 6, 2014, at 10:00 AM

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Karen Swift search, Nov. 19, 2011