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Years after Halloween disappearance, Mid-South mother’s autopsy report released

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DYERSBURG, Tenn. — Seven years after she disappeared, a Mid-South mother's cause of death has finally been released.

An autopsy report said Karen Swift, a mother of four and fitness instructor, was killed by blunt force trauma to the head in October 2011.

It noted that Swift was partially clothed and had multiple bone fractures.

A judge sealed her cause of death until trial, but WREG obtained her autopsy report from journalist Burton Staggs with TN River Valley News.

Swift spent her last night alive at a Halloween party with friends at The Farms Clubhouse. She wasn't with her husband.

Her first stop after the party was her friend's house to pick up her car, and the second stop was to pick up her daughter from a Halloween party.

She then returned to her Newbern home, where Dyer County's Chief Investigator Terry McCreight says her husband David was the last to see her alive.

After she disappeared, Swift's friends called for help after her car was found on the side of the road less than a quarter of a mile from her house.

Several weeks later in December 2011, the 44-year-old's partially skeletonized remains were discovered by a group of hunters not far from her home in a cemetery just off of Harness Road and Burnt Mill Road in Dyersburg, Tennessee.

Despite combing through multiple pieces of evidence, authorities never made an arrest in the case. Her autopsy report was ultimately sealed by a judge leaving many to wonder what happened.

News Channel 3 tried to talk to Swift's husband David Swift over the years but no one ever came to the door or returned our calls. According to court records Swift was in the process of filing for divorce when she disappeared.

In July 2013, law enforcement searched his home but they never called him a suspect.

“She used to jog down this road a whole lot, her and the kids. They were always together,” neighbor Chris Stewart said.

The sheriff’s office denied our request for an interview, saying it’s an ongoing investigation, despite giving us interviews and updates in the past.

The former district attorney and current DA over the case also didn’t want to comment.

Many in the community told us they’ve been waiting for the case to be solved, wanting justice for the active mother, who friends called a well-known and good person in the community.

“I think it's very important to keep the questions out there, because people want to get some kind of closure for the family," Clyde Thompson said. "And they've got questions about why it's taking so long.”

If you have any information that can help investigators solve this case call (731) 285-2802.

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