Walker County murder victim found after neighbors call police - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Walker County murder victim found after neighbors call police

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A developing story in Walker County, where detectives are investigating the murder a senior citizen, found dead in her Chickamauga home.

Neighbors tell Channel 3 that 75-year-old Joyce Fowler suffered from Parkinson's disease, so they made an effort to check up on her. But when they couldn't reach her, they knew something wasn't right.

"She was a really nice lady," said the neighbor.

This neighbor, who wishes to remain unidentified, says he and others checked in on Joyce Fowler regularly.

"Just go up there and help her out whenever she needed it," said the neighbor. "We just check her windows, her doors, walk her through her house sometimes; she got scared a lot."

Things were exceptionally quiet at Fowler's home Saturday and despite their best efforts, neighbors couldn't reach her.

"They hadn't seen her in a day or two and mentioned they hadn't seen her porch light on Friday night," said Sheriff Steve Wilson.

Deputies were dispatched to the home where they also failed contacting Fowler.

"They wouldn't let me bust in the door, but I found the back door open," said the neighbor.

That unlocked door led to some answers and more questions, when they found Fowler dead in her bedroom from what's being described as blunt force trauma to the head.

"We were up there just trying to get her to come to the door and when we actually found out, it was terrible," said the neighbor.

Joshua Michael Fowler, the victim's grandson, was taken into custody Sunday morning for a parole violation.

Investigators are calling him the prime suspect, but he hasn't been charged yet.

Deputies tell us they are still processing the car the suspect is believed to have fled the crime scene in.

"That's what we are doing now, painstakingly going through the vehicle looking for any clues from the crime that happened at the home on Mimosa," said Sheriff Wilson.

Neighbors say they're stunned, but know it was because of their tight-knit community that the victim was so quickly discovered.
"We've got a very nice neighborhood, very nice neighbors, everybody watches out for each other," said the neighbor.

Sheriff Wilson says there are no other suspects at this time.

The victim's body will be sent to the state crime lab in Atlanta on Monday.

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