Warrant: ‘Mummified body’ victim killed for Social Security benefits

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Police were alerted by a source and a smell to the “mummified body” that led to the arrest of three people on Monday, according to a search warrant.

Tommy Rose, 62, Deborah Gister, 41, and Christina McCormack, 48, were charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence after a body was found wrapped in a tarp inside a storage shed at 2306 Greenfield Lane.

From left to right: Christina Barbara McCormack, Tommy Wayne Rose and Deborah Maria Gister. (Knox County Sheriff’s Office)

According to the warrant, a source told the Knoxville Police Department on Sunday that a man was stabbed in the eye leading to his death. The source said she was told by Gister that the reason the victim was killed was to “collect his Social Security benefits.”

RELATED| Knoxville Police charge 3 after finding ‘mummified’ body

KPD went to the home and detected a strong odor. The odor grew stronger as investigators made their way to the storage building in the back of the property.

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Forensic teams investigate the scene on Greenfield Lane. (Photo: Dana Schwab)

“Investigators were able to look into the shed through an opening in the cinder blocks,” the warrant says. “Investigators could see a tarp with what appeared to be (a) human-shaped figure.”

The man’s body may have been there for weeks.

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

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