Woman calls police after neighbors ask for help digging hole; mummified body found

Woman calls police after neighbors ask for help digging hole; mummified body found
After discovering a mummified body wrapped in a tarp, police are investigating the death as a homicide. (Source: Dana Schwab/Dana Schwab/WVLT)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) — Investigators with the Knoxville Police Department said they are looking into a potential homicide after a body was found in a “mummified state” Sunday afternoon.

According to police, the three people living at the home on Greenfield Lane told officers they didn't know about the body which investigators say was likely on the property for multiple weeks.

Neighbor, Margret “Becky” Carter told WVLT that the people who lived at the home asked her to help them dig a hole before the discovery, but she told them no.

Then, she called the police.

Carter said she is friends with her neighbors and she didn't 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.

Tommy Rose, 62, Deborah Gister, 41, and Christina McCormack, 48, are each charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

According to court documents, police believe the three wrapped the body in a tarp and destroyed evidence about the victim's death. They are also accused of not calling 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.

Investigators are awaiting more information from autopsy results.

The identity of the victim has not been released as police work to get in touch with family members.

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