Tommy Wayne Rose, Deborah Maria Gister, and Christina Barbara McCormack all will stand before a judge on October 17. All three have been charged with abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.
Knoxville Police Department said a homicide investigation is underway after a body was found wrapped in a tarp inside a shed in a “mummified state” Sunday afternoon.
Police said three residents at the home on Greenfield Lane denied any knowledge of the body which investigators say was likely on the property for multiple weeks.
Neighbor, Margret “Becky” Carter told WVLT News reporter Gwendolyn Ducre that the people who lived at the home approached her and asked her to help them dig a hole prior to the discovery, but she declined. After some time passed, she decided to call the police.
Carter said she is friends with her neighbors and she did not know why they wanted her help with digging the hole. She said the home is known to have a lot of people coming in and out for drugs.
According to court documents, police have accused the suspects of wrapping the body in the tarp and destroying material that likely contained evidence about the victims death. They are also accused of failing to call 911 for an extended period of time.
KPD said they received a tip regarding a possible homicide at the 2300 block of Greenfield Lane that led them to find the body.
The body has been transported to the Regional Forensic Center for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Authorities say (left to right) Christina McCormack, Tommy Rose, and Deborah Gister have been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. All three have denied having any knowledge of the persons death. (Images: Knox County Sheriffs Office, WTVC)
Police in Tennessee say the discovery of a body in a “mummified state” in a shed behind a residence has led to charges against three people.
News outlet report Knoxville police said in a statement that officers responded on Sunday to report of a possible homicide and while searching the property found the deceased body wrapped in a tarp.
Authorities say three people at the residence have been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence: 62-year-old Tommy Wayne Rose, 41-year-old Deborah Maria Gister and 48-year-old Christina Barbara McCormack. All three have denied having any knowledge of the persons death.
WATE in Knoxville reports that as the three suspects were being held outside the house while a search warrant was signed, Gister grabbed her 7-year-old son and held a screwdriver to his throat, saying, “I have nothing else to live for and I will never be separated from my son.” WATE reports that court documents say Gister refused commands to drop the screwdriver, but officers were able to intervene and separate her from her son.
Officials said an autopsy of the body would be conducted at the Regional Forensic Center to determine the cause of death. The persons identity wasnt immediately released.