A mother of four goes missing after attending a Halloween party. Her car was found abandoned with a flat tire. Inside was a Catwoman costume and a cooler of beer with a few cans missing. A month later the body of Karen Swift was found in a shallow grave a mere three miles from her car. Seven years have past and still no answers in this case. Who killed Karen Swift?
Karen Swift, 44 was a fitness instructor living in Dyersburg, Tennessee on the night of Halloween 2011. Karen was attending a party at a local country club when she received a call from her child who was spending the night with a friend. The child wanted to go home, so the mother left the party, picked up the child, and returned to her home on Willie Johnson Rd around 1:30 am on Sunday morning. Karen’s soon-to-be ex-husband was the last person to see her. He claimed she left home after putting the child to bed.
Karen and David were going through the divorce process, and Karen had confided in a friend about an affair. During this conversation, she also mentioned an anonymous donor had given her $10,000 for a divorce.
At the party, Karen had gotten into a verbal altercation with another woman. I haven’t found the woman’s name mentioned publicly, nor have we been told what the argument was about. All we know is a few hours later the mother had vanished. Karen’s 2004 Nissan Murano was found on Millsfield Highway near the intersection of Harness Rd. The vehicle had a flat tire and inside the investigators found the Halloween costume, Karen had worn earlier in the evening along with a cooler of beer. Reports state a few cans were missing. The car had been spotted by a hunter around 5 am.
Ten days after the disappearance the country club was robbed. The only thing stolen was the security cameras. This tells me that Karen’s killer was likely on those videos and was trying to cover his or her tracks. Of course, the husband came under scrutiny, but after seven years the investigators still don’t have any real evidence to pin this on him.
Karen’s body would be found a month later dumped at the Bledsoe Cemetery only three miles from where her car was abandoned. Investigators had searched the area previously and aren’t sure if the body in the ditch was somehow missed or if it had been dumped there at a later date.
At first, the local judge sealed the autopsy reports to shield the investigation, so Karen’s manner of death was not released. In November 2018, a reporter filed an FOIA request and was surprised to receive the autopsy report. The media jumped on it and ramped up the media coverage for this case once again. Sadly, some online trolls have bashed the reporter and all media in general for digging up things just for a story. They claim the media has destroyed the investigation.
There will always be haters online ready to pounce on the hating bandwagon, but this time I have to interject. Please forgive me as I digress into a bit of a rant. Let me explain to all of you that don’t realize how an FOIA request works. The request is sent by an American who by law has the right to ask for the documents. The request is then sent to the department in charge of the investigation. It is up to them what will be sent to the requesting party. If the judge wanted something sealed, then those parts of the document would be redacted. The investigators will not send out anything that will hinder their case, so all of you out there screaming at the media need to do your homework.
Seven years have passed, and this case is still unsolved. If you have any information concerning the murder of Karen Swift, please contact the Dyer County Sheriff’s Department at (731) 285-2802.
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