D.A.: Homicide ruling of elderly woman’s death “unexpected”

JOHNSON COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- A medical examiner ruled an elderly woman’s mysterious December death a homicide. Now District Attorney General Tony Clark says they have lots of work ahead to piece together what happened to 83-year-old Teruko Shaw the night of her death.

Clark said though this has been investigated as a potential homicide from the beginning, the medical examiner’s ruling was not what he expected.

“We worked it from the beginning, any suspicious death is worked as a potential homicide, but as I stated earlier it was unexpected that the autopsy would come back as a homicide,” Clark said.

Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said he thinks it may have been a robbery gone wrong.

He also said they have a person of interest but don’t have enough information to make an arrest.

Clark wouldn’t comment on this. He did say despite the medical examiners ruling of homicide, more evidence in the case must be evaluated.

“And that’s of course the opinion of the medical examiner, I respect, we work great with that department but that’s their opinion, and that’s based on what they found physically, not necessarily what we found factually. So we have a lot to do on this case, especially after getting the autopsy back,” Clark said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now looking at forensic evidence in this case.

Clark said it will be about a month until those findings are back.

Clark said once they get forensic evidence back they will try to piece together what happened.

“It was all somewhat suspect but we didn’t know if it was an accident, we still don’t know exactly what happened so that’s why the investigations still ongoing,” Clark said.

Clark said anyone with information about Shaw’s death needs to contact his office or local law enforcement.

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