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Day One: Bigoms' murder trial

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - "I said, we just found her car on the side of the road. I said if you hear anything, if you see her. Give me a call," said Robert Boulware.

Dana Wilkes' son, Robert Boulware, says Tony Bigoms wasn't a stranger during the search for his missing mom. Although Bigoms never joined to help, they did speak on the phone several times. Bigoms was the last person who saw her.

"He was asking if we saw her, heard from her, he was asking what we were doing that day.. So i told him about the flyers.. And then he was asking about what the cops said last night," said Boulware.

Just hours after she never showed up for work. Dana's green jeep was spotted outside Wilcox Tunnel, abandoned, unlocked with blood spattered inside.

Bigoms was interviewed by police just two days after Dana went missing.  Jurors listened to that interview Wednesday. Bigoms, dressed in a yellow shirt and khaki pants, holding the transcript and following along.

Dana and Bigoms were seen together on surveillance, shopping at Walmart and filling up on gas the night before she vanished.

Bigoms, a close friend of Dana's husband, told investigators she gave him a ride home that night. But she didn't show for work the next day.

Dana wilkes was never seen alive again. Leaving the question of what happened, before this did.


PREVIOUS STORY: After Tuesday's jury selection, the first degree murder trail of Tony Bigoms got under way Wednesday morning.

Bigoms was charged in the grisly death and mutilation of Dana Wilkes in 2012.

Reported as missing around November 10, 2012, Wilkes' decapitated and mutilated body was found near a waterway in Chattanooga.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Sara Sidery is covering the case, and tweeting live from the courtroom. Follow her on Twitter @SaraSideryWRCB.

Tweets are in chronological order, with the most recent at top.

Bigoms told police he wasn't romantically involved w Dana. He lived with another woman at time & was family friends with her husband.

Jury hearing a recorded police intvu w Bigoms, two days after Dana was missing. At this point she was still a missing person.

Parks interviewed Bigoms after his name came up again, this time from a friend of Dana's. Was taken to CPD by police.

Parks went to Bigoms' residence. Bigoms: he spoke to Wilkes at Walmart on Friday, she gave him a ride home & was selling pills.

Ofc. Parks went to HamCo Jail to talk to Tom Wilkes, Dana's husband. Had been in for ~1 month on traffic violations.

CPD investigator Reginald Parks says he combed the nearby wooded area on foot surrounding Wilkes' abandoned Jeep. No evidence.

Investigator testifying on blood found in Wilkes' Jeep: glove box, dash, passenger door, back seat.

State calls CPD Ofc. Charles Decker, got original call out to Wilkes' duplex home on Palo Verde Dr. Talked to Boulware there.

Defense has asked most witnesses about style of Dana's wedding ring, an earring that was found, and if she used methadone.

Dana Wilkes' son, Robert Boulware, still on the witness stand.

Boulware: "He (Bigoms) just asked what cops said about her being missing."

Bigoms called Boulware on Sunday. Asked what they were doing & what police said night before. Told Bigoms about posting flyers.

Boulware spoke to Bigoms on phone that night. Said he went w Dana to Walmart Friday to help fix broken toilet.

Boulware: "I looked over to the glove compartment and there was blood dripping down." Blood splattered pic  shown to jury.

Son went to Jeep at Wilcox Tunnel. Knew it was his mom's. It was unlocked. No keys or purse inside.

Door was unlocked. Went inside. Son saw Dana's insulin was still in fridge. "She always, always had it."

Boulware tried calling Dana's cell many times, no answer. Thought maybe she was asleep on couch. Went to check. Car not there.

Dana's son, Robert Boulware, on the stand. One of three sons. Got a call from his gma that his mom was missing.

Pryor saw Bigoms at clinic twice before. Once with Tom Wilkes. The other in hallway. Said Dana introduced him as "Tom's cousin.

Pryor saw Dana's Jeep on the left side near Wilcox Tunnel around 11am. She called 911 bc coworkers didn't know where Dana was.

State calls Zetty Pryor, another clinic worker. Noted Dana's helping nature. Said she saw Bigoms w Dana a couple times before.

Brown remembered Dana "always" wore earrings, her husband Tom had got her a gold, non-traditional wedding ring.

Brown went to Dana's house, didn't see her car there. She started calling hospitals to see if Dana was at any of them.

Brown said if Dana was late, she'd always call. Called cell several times throughout the AM. Very worried, Dana was diabetic.

State calls Leslie Brown, Dana's former supervisor. "She was tiniest thing you've ever seen, full of energy, always smiling."

Dana's last paycheck was 11/9/12, $897.12. She didn't show up for work the next day. Employees worried, wanted to check on her.

Burt: "Dana was very sweet, dependable, would do anything for anyone, to a fault."

State calls first witness, Rebecca Burt, co-worker of Dana Wilkes. Both worked at dialysis clinic.

Bigoms wearing a yellow shirt, khakis, no tie.

Dana Wilkes' family members sitting in front, wearing purple ribbons.

Buffaloe: "Do not look at the volume, look at the substance of the testimony." Opening statements wrapped up.

Defense: reminds jury Bigoms is sitting here presumed not guilty. Says too many assumptions in proof. #BigomsTrial

PREVIOUS STORIES:

Arrest made in murder of Dana Wilkes
Family worries unidentified remains are Dana Wilkes
Family of missing woman: "She can't go this long without her insulin"



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