Victims, suspects identified in Knoxville homeless deaths

Victims, suspects identified in Knoxville homeless deaths

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Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch presented new information on the deaths Friday morning during a press briefing. Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch presented new information on the deaths Friday morning during a press briefing.
Hope Carol Warvi (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Hope Carol Warvi (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Joshua Cool (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Joshua Cool (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Brandon Roberts (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Brandon Roberts (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
"There's a lot of drinking. There are a lot of drunks that stay out there," Cody Talley said. "There's a lot of drinking. There are a lot of drunks that stay out there," Cody Talley said.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Three people were charged Friday in the murder of man in a homeless camp. Police say two other people were also found dead and more charges are expected.

The bodies of two men and a woman were discovered over the course of two days in a wooded area containing tents behind a business on Richards Street.

Police previously said Wednesday a man's body was found after they received a disturbance call in the woods.

The new information on the deaths and arrests was announced during a press briefing Friday morning.

Two men and one woman are charged with one count each of second degree murder for the death of a man found inside their tent on Tuesday. They are:

  • Hope Carol Warvi, 22
  • Joshua Cool, 27
  • Brandon Roberts, 28

As the investigation into the deaths continues more charges are expected to be filed. Bond has been set at $500,000 on each suspect.

KPD announced the identities of the victims on Saturday morning. They are 29-year-old Collin Colbert of Gatlingburg, Tenn., 29-year-old Ryan Gorney of Chicago, Ill., and 32-year-old Grace Standridge of Knoxville, Tenn.

Rausch would not say how the victims were killed or give a motive for their murders, though he said the suspects are charged with stealing $9.00 from the man found dead in their tent.

The investigation began late Monday night with a disturbance call. When officers arrived in the 800 block of Richards Street they found Charles Matthew Rose, 49, in an extremely intoxicated condition.

Officers say Rose put up a struggle and attempted knock Officer Carl Kennedy to the ground before being subdued and arrested.

As officers continued their investigation they located the homeless camp in the nearby woods behind the old PSC Metals facility. There they found four homeless people sleeping in a tent. 

The first person found dead, Colbert, was discovered in a corner of the tent, covered by blankets. 

While rummaging through piles of trash Thursday afternoon, other homeless people found Gorney's body buried under the debris.

Witness and suspect interviews led detectives to find Standridge on Thursday night. She was found inside a crawl space.

Cody Talley says he has been homeless for nine months and knows the suspects.

"There's a lot of drinking. There are a lot of drunks that stay out there," Talley said. "Most people stay out here got barred from mission and got nowhere to go."

We're all in same situation. I don't understand why you would go around killing people. It makes no sense.

"Right now it's definitely heightened our anxiety level a little bit. It definitely has," said Chris Murphy, who has been camping at the homeless camp for the last four years.

Though police are confident they have found all the victims and all the suspects are behind bars, Talley says he's concerned for his safety.

"I'm 18," he said. "I feel a little bit scared about it. I'm not trying to come out here one night and get killed."

 

 

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