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KPD: Mummified body found wrapped in tarp inside shed on Greenfield Lane

Investigators found the body inside a shed on the property and based on its mummified state, KPD said it had likely been there for multiple weeks.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A body was found mummified, wrapped in a tarp, in a shed Sunday night after Knoxville Police said investigators were called to a home regarding a possible homicide. 

Officers responded to the home on the 2300-block of Greenfield Lane after neighbors reported a smell. They spoke with three people who reportedly denied any knowledge of any such incident, KPD said. 

After investigators got a search warrant, they found the body inside a shed on the property and based on its mummified state, KPD said it had likely been there for multiple weeks. 

The three residents, Tommy Rose, 62, Deborah Gister, 41, and Christina McCormack, 48, were charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, according to KPD. 

Credit: KCSO
Tommy Rose, Deborah Gister and Christina McCormack

The arrest warrant said that the three "wrapped the victim's body in a tarp after his death from unknown circumstances and then concealed it in a storage bldg on the property" and also "destroyed material which likely contained evidence of the victim's death."

Gister was also charged with aggravated assault for threatening her son. While police were there during the search, court documents show Gister grabbed a screwdriver and put it to the neck of the seven-year-old. 

Investigators said she told them, "I have nothing else to live for and I will never be separated from my son." 

Officers had to force the boy away from her and he told them, "She tried to kill me." The child is now in the care of the Department of Child Services.

Police said the body was transported to the Regional Forensic Center and said the cause of death could not be determined until an autopsy was completed. 

Neighbor Dana Schwab told 10News that the people had been living there for 10 or 11 weeks. He said he'd been smelling a foul odor for three weeks.

"I knew it was something bigger than a rat or a rodent. I was a little concerned, but I didn't think it was a person," he said.

Schwab said he got a couple of different stories from her neighbors about where the smell was coming from.

One told him that an animal had probably gotten inside and the shed was locked and only the landlord had the key to open. 

"The other guy told me the refrigerator had gone bad and they had to throw a bunch of meat out," he said.

The investigation is ongoing and KPD said further updates will be made as they become available.

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