DYER COUNTY, Tenn. — Karen Swift spent her last night alive at a Halloween party with friends at The Farms Clubhouse. She wasn’t with her husband.
Karen’s first stop after the party was her friend’s house to pick up her car, and the second stop was to pick up her daughter from a Halloween party.
The mother of four then returned to her Newbern home, where Dyer County’s Chief Investigator Terry McCreight says her husband David was the last to see her alive.
They lived in the same house even though Karen filed for divorce.
Three years later, David Swift still isn’t talking. Not to investigators nor WREG despite several requests.
In fact, McCreight calls Swift ‘uncooperative and suspicious,’ though Swift isn’t a suspect, or even named a person of interest.
“He has never assisted us in searching for her. I mean, he has never assisted nor has he offered help in trying to locate her during that time,” McCreight said.
McCreight says Karen’s friends are the ones who called to alert deputies Swift’s car was on the side of the road less than a quarter of a mile from her house.
A month later, McCreight told Swift they found his wife’s body in a cemetery.
“He didn’t really have the reaction you would normally…someone would have if you said, ‘We found your loved one.’ If my memory serves me, he didn’t even call her by name. I’m not going to get into the details of it, but it just wasn’t the right response to investigators,” McCreight said.
McCreight says that’s the last time Swift spoke to investigators.
“He hasn’t called, inquired about anything as it relates to her death,” McCreight said.
In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, Swift moved away from Dyer County to Northeast Arkansas.
McCreight says deputies called him in for an interview, but he and his attorney Steve Farese refused.
Swift has a right to keep his silence, but McCreight says he can’t be cleared as a suspect until they talk with him.
“We want to present a strong case to our district attorney general,” McCreight said.
The Dyer County Sheriff’s office is now setting the record straight, claiming it hasn’t presented the evidence to the DA yet for charges.
The lead investigator says they don’t have a so-called “smoking gun” in the case and they don’t want to leave room for any reasonable doubt if the case goes to trial.
Charges could take years, and investigators are willing to be patient.
They won’t say if they have any suspects or even how Karen Swift died.
As the clock ticks, justice seems further and further away for some.
“I wish they would find out who it is, because she lived right down the road from me,” Shirley Carroll said.
Carroll says the longer there are no charges, the longer a murderer is still out on the streets, and that makes her feel in danger.
“I think they need to get to it. It’s been way too long. I think we need to have justice for her,” Carroll said.
As questions and suspicions in the mystery cast a shadow over the picturesque town, McCright says the investigation is very active and not close to cold case status.
Investigators hope speaking out now will reinvigorate people to call in any tips or information they may have on the case.
If you have any information that can help investigators make a move in this case or speed up a conviction, please call the Chief Investigator McCreight at (731) 285-2802.