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Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014
Karen Swift murder investigation

Swift case may go before special called grand jury (12/11/12)
Monday marked the one-year anniversary in which the body of Karen Swift was found. It also marked the one-year anniversary Dyer County Sheriff's investigators turned their missing person investigation into a murder investigation. Since that time, sheriff's investigators have focused their attention in bringing her killer to justice and preparing the case for trial...
Sheriff: Final stages of Swift investigation, pushing for an arrest (11/01/12)
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...
Sheriff: Person of interest in Swift case (09/02/12)
Although there has been no arrest in the Karen Swift murder investigation, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box stated he and his investigators have a person of interest and the evidence they have collected is being prepared for a murder trial. He pointed out his department is being assisted by state and federal agencies and they are working diligently to bring Swift's murderer to justice...
Sheriff confident Swift murderer will be brought to justice (05/15/12)
Although no charges have been made in the five-month-long murder investigation of Karen Swift, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box says he is certain he and his team of investigators will undoubtedly make an arrest. "We are confident we will bring the person, or persons responsible, to justice," said Box. "The investigation is still active and ongoing."...
Swift autopsy report complete, details remain sealed (03/20/12)
The final autopsy report on Karen Swift is complete and in the hands of Dyer County Sheriff's investigators as they are moving forward with their murder investigation to bring her killer to justice. Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box would not comment on the findings of the report due to the details being sealed under court order, but he did say investigators feel the results will be helpful in their "homicide investigation"...
Sheriff's dept. awaits final Swift autopsy report (03/04/12)
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...
Swift's body released to family by coroner's office (02/04/12)
The body of Karen Swift has been released from the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office and Dyer County Sheriff's investigators are awaiting the coroner's final report. Swift's body was released to her family and was taken to McNabb Funeral Home in Pocahontas, Ark., where Swift is originally from. The visitation will be Friday, Feb. 10, from 5 - 8 at the funeral home and the funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. at the Church of God in Pocahontas...
Sheriff, DA speak on status of Swift investigation (01/15/12)
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. ...
Sheriff's dept., TBI awaiting coroner's report on Swift (12/20/11)
Dyer County Sheriff's Department investigators and the TBI are still awaiting the results from the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office for the cause of death in the Karen Swift murder case. Chief Investigator Terry McCreight stated on Monday the medical examiner's office in Memphis had not sent their findings and noted it may take awhile before they complete it. He added the detailed process is time consuming and coroners were doing what they could to finish the report...
Memorial accounts set up to aid Swift family (12/20/11)
Two memorial funds have been set up to aid the family of Karen Swift. Locally, residents may donate to the Karen Swift Memorial Fund at any First South Bank branch in Dyersburg. Branches are located at 205 N. Main or at Green Village at 602 Hwy. 51 Bypass...
Dyer County man describes finding Swift's body (12/14/11)
As the investigation into the murder of Karen Swift enters its first week, one of the men who discovered her body is speaking about the find that could solve this case. John Robinson, the preacher at Bogota Church of Christ, made the discovery along with his friend, Mark Rickman, on Saturday as they were leaving Bledsoe Cemetery (off Harness Road) around noon...
Body identified as that of Swift, case being investigated as homicide (12/13/11)
Dyer County Sheriff's Department investigators and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are now working the case of Karen Swift as a murder investigation after her body was positively identified by the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office on Sunday. Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box stated the body, which was found on Saturday, was able to be identified as Swift's through her dental records, which were sent along with her body to the medical examiner's office in Memphis. Swift's body had reportedly been concealed in an area off of Harness Road until someone discovered it on Saturday. Box said the body had been concealed by undergrowth and vegetation for some time close to Bledsoe Cemetery, which lies off of Harness Road. The location where her body was found is approximately three miles northwest from where Swift's 2004 Nissan Murano was found abandoned with a reported flat tire at the intersection of Millsfield Highway and Harness Road on Sunday, Oct. 30. Box stated the injuries to Swift's body, coupled with the placement of it, warranted the investigation to switch from a missing-person case to a murder investigation. "Due to her body being placed and concealed in the area that it was recovered from and apparent injuries to her body it has been ruled a homicide," said Box in an interview with the State Gazette. "We are currently awaiting results of an autopsy from the medical examiner's office in Memphis to determine the cause of death." The body was found in a place that is normally covered in kudzu, approximately 100 yards from a tall metal cross that sits high on a bluff. The cross is visible looking south from Highway 78, close to the Obion River Bridge. Authorities attribute recent cold-weather conditions for suppressing and deadening the undergrowth that had Swift's body concealed from view. Since Swift's disappearance, the sheriff's department has been gathering potential evidence, interviewing people, and performing searches in an attempt to find her or her body and determine if there was foul play involved. Authorities are not naming any suspects in the case, nor are they releasing any information about how the body was discovered due to it being an ongoing murder investigation. "We will continue to move forward with the homicide investigation," said Box. One of Swift's best friends, Cathy Bona, reacted to Monday's news about Swift. "We are all very sad and are going to miss her so much," said Bona in a written statement. "We pray that God gives the law enforcement guidance and all the information they need to get justice for her!!!" Bona and others that knew Swift had ruled out the scenario that Swift had run away, citing the love of her children, future plans, and payment for recent work done for Habitat for Humanity (see Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, edition of the State Gazette). Swift was reported missing on Sunday, Oct. 30, when her 2004 Nissan Murano was discovered near the intersection of Harness Road and Millsfield Highway with a flat tire. She had filed for divorce from her husband, David Swift, on Oct. 10, but still resided with him and their two daughters at their residence on Willie Johnson Road. Karen Swift had been to a Halloween party at the Dyersburg Country Club-The Farms on the Saturday evening, Oct. 29. She reportedly arrived home sometime after midnight after picking up one of her daughters from a sleepover because she did not feel well. Box stated David Swift allegedly spoke with Karen Swift briefly in the stairwell after she and the child were inside the house. Authorities allege David Swift told them he awoke the next morning (Sunday, Oct. 30) and could not find his wife and tried calling her cell phone with no answer. Soon afterward, a neighbor called David Swift to tell him Karen Swift's SUV was on Millsfield Highway. He is then alleged to have called one of their sons in Arkansas to see if he could reach Karen Swift, but to no avail. David Swift is then reported to have called some of Karen Swift's friends to see if they had seen her. At 2:37 p.m., a friend of Karen Swift's called the Dyer County Sheriff's Department and notified them she was missing and the dispatcher advised her that David Swift should call and give details. He is then reported to have called the sheriff's department and given them details about what was going on. Soon after, deputies arrived and discovered the SUV had a flat tire. They searched the Swift residence and later impounded the vehicle. On Monday, Oct. 30, Box along with other officers and a K-9 unit from Fort Pillow Penitentiary searched the area around Swift's house and where the vehicle was found. Throughout the rest of the week, officers searched the area for Swift and potential evidence in the case and her vehicle was sent to the TBI's crime lab in Nashville for processing. Personnel from the Dyer County Sheriff's Dept., Tennessee Highway Patrol Strike Teams, a THP helicopter, the Dyer County Rescue Squad, and members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Dept. took part in searches across the county. THP Strike Team members and others found potential evidence, believed to be connected to Swift, during numerous searches. Box would not release what was found. On Saturday, Nov. 5, John Hogshooter, 39, Pennell Lane, was arrested by sheriff's officers for aggravated animal cruelty while they were performing a search of a wooded area on Harness Road. Hogshooter was accused of poisoning two dogs in the area, one of which belonged to the Swifts. A warrant was signed for his arrest and he was taken into custody as he pulled into a property of his on Harness Road. Dyer County Sheriff's Dept. Chief Investigator Terry McCreight said due to the nature of Hogshooter's case and the proximity to the Swifts' residence they had to look at him as part of their investigation into her disappearance. As a result, Hogshooter's vehicle was temporarily impounded and investigators searched his Harness Road residence. McCreight said Hogshooter's vehicle was released back to him and no noteworthy evidence was found during their search at the time. On Thursday, Nov. 10, as part of the Dyer County Sheriff's Department's investigation into Swift's disappearance, the TBI's Violent Crimes Response Team was at her Willie Johnson Road residence processing potential evidence. TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm stated Special Agent Forensic Scientists out of the Memphis crime lab responded to the Swift residence to look for evidence of a crime scene. They are specially trained to look for trace evidence that could be collected and processed back at the laboratory. Searches in the area of Swift's home and other parts of Dyer County were performed by multiple agencies throughout the next month until her body was found on Saturday. The Dyer County Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are jointly investigating Swift's death. The Dyer County Sheriff's Office requests that any person with information about this case contact the Dyer County Sheriff's Office at 731-285-2802 or call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
Sheriff's Department recovers unidentified body (12/10/11)
The Dyer County Sheriff's Department recovered an unidentified body on Saturday afternoon but they are releasing few details at this time. The sheriff's department is confirming only that a body has been recovered, refusing to even speculate on the sex of the deceased...
Women who knew Swift rule out possibility that she ran off on her own (12/08/11)
The investigation into the disappearance of Karen Swift has been going on for over a month with still not sign of the mother of four. As Dyer County Sheriff's investigators are scouring over information and looking into every possible scenario as to what could have happened to her, some women that knew Swift are ruling out the possibility that she ran away...
Sheriff's dept. provides update on search for Swift (11/25/11)
The search this past weekend for Karen Swift was composed of search personnel from the Dyer County Sheriff's Dept, the Dyer County Fire Dept., area rescue squads, and some volunteers from the community. Many locations in the county were searched, including the Obion River and the Whites Lake Area....
Prayer vigil for Swift tonight (11/23/11)
A reward poster for information in the Karen Swift case hangs in the window of a local business. A prayer vigil for Swift will take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the YMCA of Dyer County soccer field. Swift, a 44-year-old mother of four, was reported missing on Oct. 30. The Dyer County Sheriff's Department is investigating the case. If you have information about Swift's disappearance contact the sheriff's department at 731-285-2802.
Six area rescue squads join in search for evidence in Swift case (11/20/11)
On Saturday, approximately 50 searchers from several different counties continued the search for evidence in the missing-person case of Karen Swift. Dyer County Emergency Management Director James Medling, in conjunction with the Dyer County Sheriff's Department, coordinated the search, which included members of the Dyer County Rescue Squad, Dyer County volunteer firefighters, the Obion County Rescue Squad, the Lauderdale County Rescue Squad, the Lake County Rescue Squad, the Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad, Gibson County Fire and Rescue, as well as a few local volunteers.. ...
Karen Swift search continues on Saturday (11/18/11)
Dyer County Emergency Management Director James Medling will be assisting the Dyer County Sheriff's Office in organizing search parties for Karen Swift, which will be comprised of volunteer firemen and first responders from the Dyer County fire departments and the Dyer County Rescue Squad. Medling has currently requested only civilian personnel from the area that are highly familiar with the rugged terrain in the Millsfield area and experienced boaters respond to the Millsfield Fire Dept. on Saturday, Nov. 19, to be briefed on the search details. All searchers are required to wear reflective vests to protect them from deer hunters, due to the fact that deer season starts on Saturday, Nov. 19. Snake chaps or protective boots are also suggested. Any personnel without a reflective vest will be turned away. All personnel will meet at the Millsfield Fire Department at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. Any other civilian volunteers that show up with a reflective vest may be restricted to searching the roadways.
Investigation into Swift disappearance switches gears (11/13/11)
Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box says the investigation in the disappearance of Karen Johnson Swift may begin to shift gears with a different focus. "It may appear to be slowing down in some areas, but it is speeding up in other areas," said Box. He clarified the slowing down as to mean decreasing the physical ground search for evidence around the Millsfield area and other areas of interest. ...
More potential evidence collected in Swift case (11/11/11)
The investigation into the disappearance of Karen Johnson Swift entered its 12th day on Thursday with still no sign of 44-year-old mother of four. As part of the Dyer County Sheriff's Department's investigation into Swift's disappearance the TBI's Violent Crimes Response Team was at her Willie Johnson Road residence processing potential evidence...
Prayer vigil held for Swift (11/11/11)
About 30 people gathered at the YMCA soccer field on Thursday evening to pray for the safe return of Karen Swift, the mother of four who disappeared on Sunday, Oct. 30. With temperatures hovering right around 40, organizers made hot chocolate available for those gathered to pray. Lori Burks, a friend of Swift's who has organized the prayer vigils, told those in attendance on Thursday to keep praying...
Prayer vigil for Swift planned tonight (11/10/11)
The Dyer County community is invited to join together in prayer for Karen Johnson Swift this Thursday evening. A prayer vigil will be held at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the YMCA soccer complex in Dyersburg. "Every-one is welcome to attend," said Swift's friend, Lori Burks. "It is open to everybody. We are still praying around the clock and hope to have her back soon."...
Sheriff's Dept. releases photos of Swift's vehicle (11/09/11)
Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box said the investigation into Karen Swift's disappearance is continuing and released photos of Swift's vehicle where it was found on Millsfield Highway on the date of her disappearance. The photos show Swift's white 2004 Nissan Murano pointed north on Millsfield Highway on the shoulder of the highway. ...
Suspect released on bond in dog-poisoning case (11/08/11)
The man arrested over the weekend on an outstanding felony warrant for aggravated animal cruelty was released on a $2,500 bond on Monday. John E. Hogshooter, 39, 310 Harness Road, appeared in front of a judge on Monday morning and was given a bond of $2,500, which he made shortly after his appearance...
Box: 'We are not giving up yet. Not at all' (11/08/11)
The investigation into the missing person case of Karen Swift is entering its 10th day and the Dyer County Sheriff's Department is still working non-stop to try to solve the disappearance. "We are not giving up yet," said Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box. "Not at all."...
Deputies arrest man accused of poisoning Swifts' dog (11/05/11)
Dyer County Sheriff's deputies arrested a suspect on an outstanding felony warrant for animal cruelty while searching for evidence in the Karen Johnson Swift case. John E. Hogshooter, 39, 285 Pennell Lane, was arrested by sheriff's officers on Saturday for aggravated animal cruelty while performing their search of a wooded area on Harness Road in Dyer County. Hogshooter is accused of poisoning two dogs in the area, one of which belonged to the Swifts...
Sheriff's Dept. intensifies search with aid of THP Strike Teams, potential evidence found (11/05/11)
Over the past several days, the search for Karen Johnson Swift intensified as searchers covered portions of Dyer County from the air, on land, and over water. Close to 30 personnel from the Dyer County Sheriff's Dept., Tennessee Highway Patrol Strike Teams, a THP helicopter, the Dyer County Rescue Squad, and members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Dept. took part in the recent searches across the county...
Sheriff's Dept. continues search for Swift (11/04/11)
Dyer County Sheriff's investigators spent another day combing over information in an effort to find Karen Johnson Swift, who has been missing since Sunday. Investigators and Sheriff Jeff Box were out searching for any evidence in the Swift case until 4:30 a.m. on Thursday and reconvened later to go over the information they have...
Still no clues into Swift disappearance (11/03/11)
As the search for Karen Johnson Swift enters its fifth day, sheriff's investigators and other personnel continue to scour the countryside in hopes of finding some type of evidence that can lead to finding her. Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and his investigators worked late Wednesday evening in their search for Swift...
Search continues for missing woman (11/02/11)
The search for Karen Johnson Swift entered its third day on Tuesday as Dyer County Sheriff's deputies, Sheriff Jeff Box, TBI agents, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and members of the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force patrolled the area in hopes of finding the missing woman...
Sheriff's Dept. searching for missing Dyer County woman (11/01/11)
The Dyer County Sheriff's Department is currently investigating the disappearance of a 44-year-old mother of four after she was reported missing on Sunday. Karen Johnson Swift was last seen at her home on Willie Johnson Road on Sunday, Oct. 30, at approximately 1:30 a.m.
Karen Swift search, Nov. 19, 2011