CHURCH HILL — A Hawkins County woman was beaten so badly Monday that investigators will have to rely on an autopsy to know for certain if she was shot as well.
Police said the body of Regilla Ann Stacy, 48, was discovered Monday by her ex-husband, Ricky Wayne Simpson, when he arrived at the home they shared at 424 Mountain View School Road.
Investigators have reason to believe gunshots were fired from outside the house, which is located in a rural section of Hawkins County near the Goshen Valley community south of Church Hill.
Investigators also believe that Stacy probably knew her murderer and that burglary was the most likely motive for the slaying.
Simpson, 52, has a felony drug record and had a 9:15 a.m. appointment Monday to see his parole officer in Greeneville.
When he arrived home Monday shortly after 1 p.m., he reportedly found Stacy lying unresponsive on the kitchen floor and called 911.
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the Times-News Tuesday evening that no arrests have been made and no suspects have been excluded.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and HCSO are conducting a joint investigation of the murder.
A TBI press release Tuesday stated that an autopsy is being conducted on Stacy to determine a cause of death.
According to the TBI report, investigators believe Stacy suffered “possible gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma to the head,” and “the residence appears to have been burglarized.”
“We’re spending a lot of man hours trying to solve this crime,” Lawson said Tuesday evening. “As a matter of fact, detectives were out all night long, and they’re out now — trying to run down every little lead and talk to everybody and anybody who knows anything. They’ve talked to family members and anyone who might have a connection.”
Lawson added, “I feel like the victim knew her assailant, and they were there for something specific because they burglarized the house.”
Someone close to the family knows what happened, Lawson added.
Lawson said anyone with information about the murder can make an anonymous tip by calling the HCSO at (423) 272-4848.