Daughter of Missing Mother Charged With Homicide

"Every time I would go down to water my garden, I would smell the bleach."

By Eric Shorey

Karen Walker Headrick has been charged with homicide after the remains of an unidentified body were discovered by police. Walker's mother, Mary Ruth "Ruthie" Walker, was reported missing earlier this month. Neighbors had called police over a suspicious bleach smell, which turned out to be from Headrick's alleged attempts to dispose of the rotting corpse.

Headrick was arrested on Friday morning and charged with criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel. Police found burnt remains on her property.

Officers also reported finding a "makeshift grave" and chemicals "used in an attempt to conceal the decomposing body."

The identity of the victim is yet to be released. The timing of the discovery is certainly suspicious, although it's unclear if the two stories are connected. Walker was last seen "slumped over" on her daughter's front porch.

"Every time I would go down to water my garden, I would smell the bleach," said Ed Taggart, a neighbor of Headrick's.

Headrick is currently being held on a $1.25 million bond, according to the Blount County Sherriff's Facebook page. More information will be released as the investigation continues.

[Photo: Blount County Sheriff's Offce]

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