Middle Valley residents shocked after elderly woman's death ruled homicide
One man is now accused of killing his grandmother in Hixson and many Middle Valley residents are still in disbelief over the incident.
Several neighbors tell Channel 3 it's normally a pretty peaceful neighborhood, so when they heard the sound of sirens on Wednesday, they were shocked to find out what unfolded just down the road.
"It definitely shocks you. You don't expect that in your area,"
76-year-old Brenda Fay Ricketts was found dead in her home just after 2:00 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
"We were out doing yard work and I heard the sirens but didn't think a whole lot of it. I had a friend message me asking 'what's going on in your area' because again just--not normal so I started asking the neighbors," resident Amy Kelley told Channel 3.
She says in the two years she and her family have lived in the area, she's never seen or heard of anything like it.
"You do your research and what not before moving into an area and (it just had) a low crime rate in general, (it was a) quiet area, good schools," she explained.
According to an affidavit, relatives of Ricketts had last heard from her Tuesday morning.
Then when family members went to check on her, they were met with her grandson who said she was 'sleeping'. He later tried to run off when they threatened to call the police.
The medical examiner's report stated that when her body was found, it had been there for some time.
"I hate that for the family. I definitely send my thoughts and prayers for them," Kelley told Channel 3.
Despite the troubling news of her neighbor's death, Kelley says she still believes it's a safe place to live and raise her three boys, but she's still cautious of her surroundings.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has since arrested 34-year-old Tyler Cole Smith.
He's been charged with the murder of his grandmother. Smith is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $200,000 bond.
He's due in court next month.