After a body was identified in Dyersburg in rural western Tennessee as Karen Swift, authorities have launched a homicide investigation probe for the mother of four last seen in October.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent John Mehr told CNN the body discovered on Saturday near a cemetery on Highway 78 under bushes and undergrowth was that of 44-year-old Swift after an autopsy was conducted. The body was identified as Karen Swift using dental records at the Regional Forensic Center in Memphis.
According to authorities, Swift filed for divorce from her husband David Swift on October 10, just 20 days before she went missing. 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 report from CNN.
Authorities said the death of Swift is being ruled as a homicide rather than a missing persons investigation.
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. Swift's daughter found her mother missing shortly after around 6 a.m.
My sister, she remembers her mom picking her up and putting her in bed with her little sister, her son Preston Swift said in a statement.
The body was found on Saturday near her car, a 2004 white Nissan Murano with a flat tire, within miles of her home.
Frost and winter conditions killed the vegetation, making the body visible within a few feet, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box told My Fox Memphis.
KAIT reported on Saturday, the area was blocked off while the Dyer County sheriff's deputies, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Attorney General investigated.
Swift's disappearance prompted a nationwide search, which included her brother's, Jeffrey Johnson, appearance on Nancy Grace on Nov. 21.
We're doing everything we can to be together right now, Preston Swift told HLN. My father and I have been doing everything we can to help (his two youngest siblings) deal with the situation.
Karen Swift leaves behind four children, two older children including Preston and 6-and-9-year-old girls.
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.