The family of Karen Swift announced on Facebook they have set up a memorial fund at the First South Bank in Dyersberg, Tenn., to help pay for funeral expenses. The family asks donors either contact the bank directly or visit the local branch location.
Janet Foley Ross, a friend of Swift's from high school, has also set up a second memorial fund for out-of-state donors.
If you would like to donate to Karen's fund and you are not local, donations can be mailed to, IberiaBank, 121 SW 3rd Street, Walnut Ridge, AR 72476, she wrote on Karen Swift's missing page on Facebook. Checks must be made to the name of the account, Janet L Ross for the benefit of Karen Johnson Swift.
The body of Karen Swift, a mother of four who went missing after a Halloween party, was discovered laying in undergrowth and vegetation on Saturday by John Robinson, a preacher at the Bogota Church of Christ. He told the State Gazette he discovered what he believed was a body at Bledsoe Cemetery, and immediately connected his discovery to the missing mother.
We noticed a body part from a distance and the closer I got, you could tell it was a body, Robinson said. Whenever somebody is missing, that is the first thing you think of.
Robinson, with friend Mark Rickman, took a closer look from about 20 feet away to determine if what he saw was indeed a body. The two men said they immediately called the sheriff's department.
Robinson was not sure whether or not Swift's body was wearing any clothing.
There wasn't any shallow grave or none of that business, Robinson said.
Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.
She had been there some time. The body had been concealed by vegetation, Box said. Frost and winter conditions killed the vegetation, making the body visible within a few feet.
Box believes the body was placed in the spot, which was found within miles of her home and her car, a 2004 white Nissan Murano with a flat tire.
In the exact area where the body was found, there were no organized grid searches, Box said. There had been numerous people in the area and none of those people saw the body. Because the kudzu was grown over, nobody could see her.
The Karen Swift case is being investigated as a murder because of the condition of Swift's body.
There were some apparent injuries to the body, Box told WBBJ. We're going to wait to let the medical examiner's final report tell us the extent of those injuries.
Box said an autopsy, which will come later this week, will provide more clues. He also said authorities have found evidence in the car, including both items and DNA samples, which will help the police investigation.
The Regional Forensic Center in Memphis identified the body in question as Karen Swift using her dental records.
At least they can quit looking for her and start looking for somebody, Robinson added.
Karen Swift was last seen returning home from a Halloween party around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, according to the Dyer County Sheriff's Office. She went missing shortly after 6 a.m., which prompted a nationwide search. Her brother, Jeffrey Johnson, appeared on Nancy Grace on Nov. 21.
Authorities say Swift had previously filed for divorce from her husband David Swift 20 days before she went missing, on October 10. The couple agreed on custody details for their four children and organized a child support payment outline. Court documents cited irreconcilable differences though there appears to have been no lingering issues, according to a CNN report.
Box reports that Swift's husband has been cooperative, allowing DNA samples an an opportunity to interview one of the couple's four children.
At this time we haven't named any suspects and you won't see us name suspects until we're sure it's going to be beneficial to the investigation, Box said.
Karen Swift leaves behind four children, including two young girls, aged 6 and 9. The First South Bank in Dyersberg, Tennessee, which is accepting donations for Swift's memorial fund, is located at 205 East Main Street.
It's very emotional for Mr. Swift and the family, Swift's family lawyer Timothy Naifeh said in a statement. They're asking at least for this period of time to have some privacy -- it's time for grieving and it's time for mourning. It's heartbreaking and it's very, very sad.