KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- Just hours after authorities identified a woman at the center of a murder investigation, her family told News Channel 11 they were devastated by their sudden loss.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report Sunday of an unresponsive woman in her front yard on Fordtown Road.
That woman, identified as Melissa Mingle, 37, was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries.
Authorities confirmed Tuesday morning that Mingle had died as a result of those injuries, which they have still not released specific details about.
The suspect in her death, Nathaniel White-Young, is now charged with first-degree murder.
Authorities confirmed that White-Young was found Monday in Hamblen County after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
White-Young also faces a charge of aggravated arson.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time,” Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office officials also said in a release Tuesday. “As this is an ongoing investigation, no further information relating to the case can be released at this time. Our investigators have been in constant communication with District Attorney General Barry Staubus and his staff regarding the case.”
On Tuesday, News Channel 11’s Blake Lipton spoke to Melissa’s brother who said he hopes people will remember her as someone who impacted her community in a number of different ways.
Melissa’s brother, Michael Mingle, said they came from a tight-knit family, and that Melissa was a valued member of her church community.
“Everything she did she, she just had such a heart she was just so kind and so caring, she just loved life and loved everyone she met and tried to always see the best in everybody,” Mingle said. “I feel a huge empty hole in my heart where my little sis is gone and she’s never going to be back.”
Melissa also shared her passion for dance with youth throughout the Tri-Cities community.
She owned a company called Lasting Impressions in Kingsport.
Melissa’s family said they will keep her dance studio open this semester in honor of Melissa, and after that, they may have to close down and sell the business.