‘All the evidence pointed to him’: Husband of cold case murder victim Karen Swift indicted

Former Dyer County resident David Swift is placed in a Jefferson County, Alabama Sheriff’s...
Former Dyer County resident David Swift is placed in a Jefferson County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office patrol car following his arrest on Monday afternoon. Swift was indicted on Monday by the Dyer County Grand Jury on a charge of pre-mediated first-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife, Karen Swift, in 2011.(Dyer County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:41 PM CDT
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DYERSBURG, Tenn. (WMC) - Members of the Dyer County Grand Jury indicted former Dyer County resident David Swift on a charge of pre-meditated first-degree murder in the death of his former wife, the late Karen Swift.

The indictment comes more than a decade after Karen Swift’s slain body was found on December 10, 2011.

Swift, a mother with four children, was reported missing on October 30, 2011. David Swift was allegedly the last person to see her alive when she returned home from a Halloween party held at The Dyersburg Country Club at The Farms.

Swift, since remarried and living in Alabama, was arrested on Monday afternoon by members of the DCSO with assistance from members of the Jefferson County Alabama Sheriff’s Office.

Karen Johnson Swift
Karen Johnson Swift

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box was pleased as well as emotional the grand jury heard enough evidence on Monday to return an indictment and charge David Swift with the murder, acknowledging his office spent nearly a decade investigating the death.

“Today is a good day for law enforcement and I’m very pleased the grand jury returned an indictment against (David) Swift,” said Sheriff Box. “We have literally spent thousands of hours on this case and a lot of that time was spent dispelling false information and rumors. Our investigators never gave up and just kept going through the evidence and I want to sincerely thank them for their diligence in this case.”

Box continued to explain, “the one thing that held true since the early stages of the investigation into Karen’s death was that David was always a suspect because all the evidence pointed to him. We were able to rule anyone and everyone else out involving this tragic murder and the grand jury made the right decision today by indicting him on a pre-meditated first-degree murder charge.”

The Dyer County Sheriff’s Office concluded its investigation and turned the evidence over to District Attorney General Danny Goodman’s office in October of 2019. Box was pleased Goodman and his staff took their time looking over the case before presenting it the grand jury on Monday.

WATCH: Karen Swift's mother talks about disappearance, investigation

“I am so glad the district attorney, our prosecutor, had enough interest in this case to present it to the grand jury,” Box said. “I’ve thanked District Attorney General Goodman for seeing this thing through, and he did the right thing today.”

Throughout the past 11 years, Box has remained in touch with Karen Swift’s mother, Carol Johnson. Box said he made Johnson a promise more than a decade ago that one day the person that committed the murder would be brought to justice. On Monday afternoon the sheriff made a phone call he has waited to make for nearly 11 years.

“As soon as (David) Swift was placed in handcuffs I called Carol and told her the news. I always told her I had faith this case would be prosecuted and today we had a very emotional conversation,” said Box. “She just wants justice for her daughter.”

Sheriff Box concluded his statements regarding Monday’s indictment by thanking the citizens of Dyer County.

“I really do appreciate the patience of the citizens of Dyer County while we investigated this terrible crime,” added Box. “It took nearly 11 years but we can now go through the process of extraditing Swift back to Dyer County to face this charge at a trial.”

Swift will remain in the custody, without bond, at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office until an extradition hearing takes place, possibly on Tuesday.

If convicted, Swift faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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