Fourth woman found dead in man's East Knox Co. home

Fourth woman found dead in man's East Knox Co. home

Posted: Updated:

By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOX COUNTY (WATE) -- A fourth woman has been found dead in a man's East Knox County home and no one has been charged in any of the deaths.

Penny Welch, 40, was found dead in Rick Clark's home at 2105 Campbell Road Monday night. 

Police reports show Welch took her last breath inside that home sometime before 10:00 Monday night.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office is investigating Welch's death. They're waiting for autopsy results to determine how she died, but they won't say anything else about the case.  

On Wednesday, 6 News tried to talk to Clark about Welch's death, but he had little to say. The crew caught a quick glimpse of Clark before he said, "I don't want to talk to you" and shut the door.

Neighbors say Clark's home is a well known drug house. Sheriff's deputies and paramedics have responded to the home several times over the years.

But Clark hasn't been charged in connection with any of the women's deaths in his house.

In 2005, 6 News reported on three women who died from what investigators call "accidental overdoses" at different times in the home.

Police records show in June 2000, Clark's wife, Theresa Bozeman Clark, 44, died from a drug overdose at the home. 

In August 2004, Kara Kirby, 31 died there. 

And in October 2005, Penny Bright, 38, died. 

Kara Kirby's mother, Ella Smith, wants action from the sheriff's office. "Make Rick Clark responsible for these four women's deaths."

Kirby would've turned 34 on January 18. Her mother says, "This guy that owns this house, lives in this house, needs to be held responsible for the deaths of these women. It happened in his home."

Smith is now on a mission to hold Clark responsible for all four deaths. "I feel that my daughter was murdered. I have vowed, no matter what it takes, there's got to be some justice."

Kirby's mom says the latest death could've been prevented. "If a family can get in trouble, be prosecuted, if someone has a drink in their home and drives away and has an accident, then why can someone not be prosecuted for obviously having drugs in their home?"

6 News spoke with Penny Welch's family on Wednesday. They provided her picture, but were too distraught to talk about her death or the circumstances surrounding it.

There is receiving of friends and family for Penny Welch on Thursday night from 6:00 to 8:00 at Rose Mortuary in Knoxville. The funeral is scheduled for Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Old Stoney Point Church. Burial follows at the church cemetery.

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