Karen Swift Missing in TN: Clothing Evidence Found-Neighbor John Hogshooter Arrested, Car Impounded

Posted by BOC Staff | David Swift,Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box,John Hogshooter,Karen Johnson Swift | Saturday 5 November 2011 10:25 pm

Dyersburg TN- 50 yards from the  Willie Johnson residence of missing TN mother Karen Swift, John Hogshooter pulled into his driveway and was promptly arrested.   Hogshooter is facing a animal cruelty charge (s).

As reported by Karen’s husband David on October 7th, prior to her filing for divorce three days later,  the Swift family dog was allegedly poisoned by Hogshooter  along in conjunction with a neighborhood dog.

John E.  Hogshooter  was confronted by Karen Swift on the day of the alleged incident,  which prompted reports to police a few hours later.  Hogshooter has worked as a roofer and carpenter in the local area, with a slew of poor reviews from people claiming to be former clients.  It is not known if he ever worked with or for the Swift family business.

Jeff  Box,  Dyer County Sheriff, believes “answers in her case” have been found and await possible DNA testing.

Check back to www.blinkoncrime.com for updates.

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  1. Rose says:

    As many times as I’ve laid with a child til asleep, I’ve never remained all night. They think you do.
    When I come home at 130 (or so), my dogs bark. They want to go out.
    And, many a time I let them and stand outside with them. And if one was poisoned, I’d be watching his location.
    It can be relaxing to exercise a dog outside.

  2. Cat says:

    Odds are, someone that she knew was involved with her disappearance. The likelihood that some predator would be out trolling for a victim, or just happened upon here at that opportune moment at that location is extremely small IMO (she was not at her house or in a communal area). The placement of the vehicle and flat tire seems extremely suspicious to me, almost planted to appear as if trying to point to the possibility of external party involvement. Forensics on the vehicle should hopefully produce an exact indication of how the tire was deflated, perhaps revealing a clearer picture of what happened.

    Agreed. 90% worth, in fact.

  3. Jane says:

    If the timeline has actually changed from between 1:30 and 6am, I had a thought. When I’m at our Florida home, since no dogs are allowed on beach, I load up my dog at 6am each day and we head to a dog friendly area to walk. That is part of my daily schedule. I did see Karen was an avid runner. Maybe she was heading out to meet a running buddy?

    I cannot get confirmation the timeline has changed at all, so I am wondering what the she “left” at 1:30am is based on.

  4. crimewriter says:

    Yes, thank you.

  5. Word Girl says:

    The timeline could be nailed down if someone would speak up. That alone could pinpoint the comings and goings of an unsub!

    Scenario #1: Karen has been seeing a man who was a Farms course member. He invites her to a Halloween party for adults. Before the party (in street clothes, Karen drops her daughters off at a sleepover hosted by one of her friends. She goes to the Halloween party and home with her new man. Karen gets a cell phone call saying that one child is sick. Picks up child, lays down with in Mommy-bed, then lifts her into the child’s own bed when she feels secure to leave (tummy ache was from the candy, etc…) At approx. 1:30am she tells ex-hubby she is going back to whatshisname’s house.

    Karen is reported missing by her friends who are appalled that Ex just figures she’s still out with the new man.

    Scenario #2: Karen looks hot and flashy at the party in her Catwoman
    costume, which she changed into and out of in the club locker room. A male unsub at the party sees her flirting and having a good time.
    He convinces her to slip out and meet him. She’s finally able to do that after sick child is feeling better and asleep.

    (True confession: as I was writing these, I kept saying, “this is lame.” But then again, we have to commit to some modus operandi if we want to run down these loose ends. Probably still “lame.”)

  6. JT says:

    Something that jumped out at me was that killing neighborhood dogs could be a sign of someone who planned to do something and didn’t want barking to draw attention.

  7. ode says:


    Swift’s 2004 Nissan Murano was located approximately one mile away near the intersection of Millsfield Hwy and Harness Rd with a flat tire, and her missing cell phone was last accessed at approximately 5 am, linking to a web browser.
    Blink, does the use of her cell phone at 5 am have anything to do with the change in the timeline?

    Possibly, yes.

  8. Too many women – and a few men – just up and disappearing, and they are not all from Tennessee. Many are from surrounding states, but no one seems to notice any except for their own state. {IF] this happens to be the work of a serial offender, he will never be stopped until someone takes the time to look into the other cases and see if there are ‘connecting factors,’ or similar signatures within the crimes, and between the victims themselves.

  9. zeus says:

    Ah Word Girl–nothing is lame anymore. Sadly, any possibility is just about as conceivable as any other.

    It’s all a freaking crapshoot anymore….

    Sorry for the negativity, I am heartsick over the missing two year old boy in my state. Sky Metalwala has about a zero percent chance of survival if his disappearance follows the trend of what is happening to children lately.


    Word Girl says:
    November 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  10. zeus says:

    Of interest-this sentence specifically, from below linked article:

    “Investigators found possible evidence between Swift’s home and the intersection where her vehicle was found.”

    What does that spell out? She was running home after the flat and was grabbed? She was running from her home in fear and was grabbed and then her car was driven to the spot it was found as an alibi?

    Looks like something may have happened between her house and the vehicle.


    Early on investigators ruled out foul play in Swift’s disappearance. Now Sheriff Box isn’t so sure.

    “At this time we’re not ruling out foul play, but we need the evidence to point us there,” said Box.

    Investigators found possible evidence between Swift’s home and the intersection where her vehicle was found.

    “We’re fairly confident that some of the items we got will definitely be tied to this case,” Box told abc24.com.

    The state crime lab will have to analyze the items to know for sure. In the meantime, whether it’s by air or by ground, investigators are searching for clues to find a Dyer County mother who seems to have vanished without a trace.

    The Dyer County Sheriff’s Department asked the district attorney to expedite getting results from the state crime lab.

    Add http in front of link:


    They are hers.

  11. Twinkletoes says:

    Scenario #3, husband harms Karen, hides her, and sets up the car to look as it did. Then points finger a local weirdo.

  12. Löni says:

    Hello Blink and Blinkers,
    what if Karen went home at 1h30 and got to bed with her daughter, then at 5h am googled
    an open Pharmacy or store with her cellphone to buy something for her sick daughter or for
    her because she couldn’t sleep and headet out with just some money in her pocket?
    She got a flat tire and someone abducted her or lured her away from in front of her house?
    Maybe a person who was observing her for days?
    One thing that that is odd is that ML a neigbor
    saw her car at the side of the Millsfield Hwy on his way to work at 5h30 am this morning. He saw that
    Karen was not inside the car but he didn’t think to alarm someone.

    Loni- I believe an earlier sighting from a hunter occurred at 4:50am, and I cannot confirm this, but my information tells me ML mentioned the vehicle to Mrs. L, who tried to get in touch with Karen, and alerted Mr. Swift as a result.


  13. Löni says:

    Blink look this article says:
    “(Dyersburg, TN 112/2011) Marty Lamb was driving to work around 5:30 AM Sunday when he found Karen Swift’s car with a flat tire on Millsville Road in Dyersburg. He says he didn’t call police because he didn’t think anything of it.

    “I noticed it was her vehicle so I pulled in behind it and shined my lights, and I could see that she wasn’t in her vehicle,” said Lamb.

    He figured she just walked home since she lives around the corner on Willie Johnson Road. Later that day he found out the mother of four is missing.”

    In a Dyersburg forum a coworker from ML told this also?
    Blink i am at work so tonight i will try to find it and post it.

  14. Löni says:

    Blink i will research also the earlier sighting, maybe we find more?
    We have so little informations…

  15. Carol says:

    Statistics will play it out as husband…if she is dead, no alimony, child support, keeps the house, etc. etc. (sorry, crass I know).

    However, Hogshooter gives me the creeps.
    If he poisoned her dog, he could kill her.
    But I keep thinking she is alive and he has her hidden somewhere, tied-up…like he is a real nasty creep.

    I personally don’t think she was leaving the house at 1am (while her child is ill) to go to a new boyfriends house. If the time line changes that she was leaaving the house at 6am, I would believe that a little bit more that maybe she was going running, over a boyfriends (once she knew the child was okay). Was it the child’s first sleepover? Maybe she got scared. Maybe she knows mommy and daddy aren’t going to stay together and she got even more scared. Kids are very intuitive.

    We’ll know more when LE tells us what they found and in what condition it was in. Ripped shirt/coat, sneaker, etc.

    I find the flat tire very plausible, but why wouldn’t she have called the husband to ask him to come get her? Maybe becasue she didn’t want him to leave the kids alone in the house and didn’t want him to wake them and bundle them all up in the car to go get her especially since one of them was ill? Also plausible. I don’t think I would leave my car and run home – weather I was a runner or not. I would of called the police/and Triple AAA.

  16. Löni says:

    If someone saw her car abandonaded before 5H00 am then the Theory of searching the
    Pharmacy at 5h00 on google is not holding up:(

  17. GeorgiaDad says:

    Loni wrote: “One thing that that is odd is that ML a neigbor
    saw her car at the side of the Millsfield Hwy on his way to work at 5h30 am this morning. He saw that
    Karen was not inside the car but he didn’t think to alarm someone.”

    If I saw the car of a friend or neighbor pulled off the side of the road near his house with a flat tire, and no-one was in the car; I would assume that the person had a flat tire at night, got a ride home, and would be back the next day to change the tire and take the vehicle home. I wouldn’t call 911 to tell the police that a car on the side of the road had a flat tire.

    I cannot confirm he saw the flat- I know it has been reported that way, but I have not received independent confirmation.

  18. Edward says:

    She is a landscaper .. Blue collar.. Early start..
    Maybe she was just going to work ?

  19. Edward says:

    Carol said.. “statistics”
    true. I agree.

    If she was walking home. It can be assumed if items are found spread out, she was in trouble.
    So LE looks for her last confrontation and that is Mr.Hogshooter.
    So they grab him.
    But it still could be anybody.Including her soon to be ex.

  20. marnie says:

    Hi Blink. first time poster, been enjoying your blog since the c-word trial. really admire the work you do. i know there is alot of info that can’t be released yet, so i am not going to offer any speculation. i do seem to have a hard time keeping up with all the links, and can’t find some right now. but i did have a couple questions.

    why was that neighbor arrested for poisoning the dogs, if the poison was on his property and the dogs traveled there? unless that was common? it looks like a rural area, so maybe the dogs were free to roam? (i’m not used to that anymore – still small town, but dogs stay in their own yards, and are walked on leashes ) was there more to it, maybe other confrontations and he intentionally posisoned the dogs?

    also, i thought she was supposed to be going to a landscaping job the next morning? i can’t find those links, but for that reason, i don’t think she was going back out to meet anyone.

    between the soon to be ex and that neighbor, sounds like 2 good suspects. i pray this is solved soon. i like the theory she could be in a storage unit or being held somewhere – at least there is a chance of finding her alive. thanks for any clarification.

  21. Angel says:

    Off topic, but regarding the little missing boy, Sky. Lots of new info here:


  22. Jane says:

    According to the State Gazette, Mr. Hogshooter has been released on bond and his vehicle returned to him. In same article, it mentions Karen’s husband filed report of dog poisoning on October 7th (I think). Is it odd the husband filed report and wasn’t also the one in confrontation with Mr. Hogshooter.

    I will be updating this evening, depends on when I am released from editing.

  23. Jane says:

    I hate to make all of you cringe re a comment I saw on Topix! Someone mentioned husband’s injury and that he was due a settlement? Same comment made mention of a Halloween hayride and how hubby wasn’t relying on crutches. I realize a lot of those comments are t-total trash but some might have a dribble of truth.

  24. daydreamer says:

    I am very disappointed no recent news about Karen.Maybe I am a little anxious because I have a fear this will go into another archive of cold cases in TN.I have never been there ,but I have been very suspicious of the way they are handling the cases of missing women there.Believe me I am a big supporter of LE and have the up most respect for them.Maybe I feel like someone is not doing enough or they are turning a blind eye to what is really going on.I don’t understand why the husband has not made an a plea for her return and I don’t see any reward offered up either.This is a mother of four children,regardless of the situation in the home,her children need her back one way or another.I see that Mr.Hogshooter is out on bond,another strange occurrence,he poisoned their dog early in October and is just now being arrested?

  25. daydreamer says:

    Blink I do have a question,Have they searched Karen’s home and David’s
    vehicle and if so why not? He is the last one we know of that saw her alive.Leaving the house (according to him at 1:30 yet someone accessed
    her phone at 5:00).I would have thought that would have been the first
    place they would look,only because how do they know she drove her SUV
    and left in the first place?No witness to this except the husband.Anyone could have drove her SUV.I am not accusing him in any way and I know a lot of the locals are saying what a great person he is,and would never hurt Karen.No one knows what goes on in someone’s home and when I hear of a preacher killing his wife I know anything is possible.

    Will post link

  26. Löni says:

    It is kind Blink to post an update then i am reading tons of comments in all topix forums from
    Dyersburg and the aera with the purpose to find some ” Insider that could be interresting”
    and some news but i am not finding something tonight. My dog has already twice pulled on 
    my pygama leg he wants to go to sleep:)

  27. zeus says:

    Blink, Sheriff Box says in this article that they haven’t heard from the first hunter yet?

    The first report, from what I understood, was from a hunter who saw Karen’s vehicle at 4:50 am. Unless that is not accurate now for some reason.

    Or did he mean that a hunter anomalously reported the vehicle at 4:50 am, but then never contacted LE for follow up?

    “The 29th was open weekend for juvenile deer season and people who deer hunt, hunted on that Saturday and Sunday,” said Box. “Deer hunters go hunting at 4:30-5 o’clock in the morning and we haven’t heard from the first hunter yet. And this vehicle is white in color and these people are bound to have seen it sitting there Sunday morning. So, we are reaching out to hunters or anybody else going down that highway at that time of the morning to contact us.”



  28. zeus says:

    Did we ever find out for positive who called in Karen’s missing status? Because on the facebook that’s run by her friends “Karen Swift Missing Mom of 4″, they state she was reported missing by “friends” at 4PM-Sunday afternoon-the 30th. Not by her husband?


    Facebook page entry by one of Karen’s good friends:

    Lori ‘Ferris’ Burks, She was actually reported missing by friends at around 4:00 Sunday afternoon.
    about an hour ago

    Add http to front of link:


  29. MackiezMom says:

    Snipped from this article “As reported by Karen’s husband David on October 7th, prior to her filing for divorce three days later, the Swift family dog was allegedly poisoned by Hogshooter along in conjunction with a neighborhood dog.”

    As reported by Karen’s husband, huh? What if David poisoned the dogs, to draw attention to the neighbor? It is him who says he observed the dog going to the neighbor’s house, and returning ill. What if HE put the poison there? That accomplishes a couple of things, it draws attention to another person, it creates discourse in the neighborhood, a conflict between Karen and the neighbor, and it gets rid of at least one barking dog, that could draw attention if/when something strange was going on late at night.


    Yep, worthy of consideration:

  30. Mom3.0 says:

    MackiezMom, Blink and all-

    Hello, your post and Blinks response got me to thinking….

    You wrote:

    As reported by Karen’s husband, huh? What if David poisoned the dogs, to draw attention to the neighbor? It is him who says he observed the dog going to the neighbor’s house, and returning ill. What if HE put the poison there? That accomplishes a couple of things, it draws attention to another person, it creates discourse in the neighborhood, a conflict between Karen and the neighbor, and it gets rid of at least one barking dog, that could draw attention if/when something strange was going on late at night.

    Along that same train of thought there is somethingelse that could/would be accomplished by the whole dog poisoning-

    It would make Karen and her children afraid and leery of her neighbors- it would make her/them vulnerable-

    If a woman is scared and vulnerable, especially a wife, whom does she immediately go to for comfort and protection? her husband…if a child is afraid and vulnerable who would they seek out for protection against a big bad man? their fearless strong daddy…

    Could it be that the dog poisoning scary neighbor man helped to ensure a spot for husband and father in the home regardless of plans for divorce?

    Did Karen hope allowing her husband to remain in the home would ensure the childrens and the pets and her own safety… at least until such a time as another protection remedy could be put in place?
    IDK just a thought

    My questions would be was there plans for a security system to be installed- or for a family member to come and stay…ect?


    I agree that the very incident could be a sort of smokescreen to keep the family intact Mom 3.o good point.

  31. MackiezMom says:

    @Mom3.0: I just saw this post. I believe that what you postulate is entirely possible. Desperate people do desperate things.

    My ex used to tell me he would kill me if I left, etc… He terrorized me for years (verbal and physical abuse), and he alienated me from friends and fam. We lived in the same house for several months, while separated. I was not safe there. He attacked me for the last time in 1996, on a day when the nanny was off, and the children were all at school. I just happened to catch him off guard and retaliate in kind. He had our entire office on top of him when my 5′ tall self was done. I then gave him 24 hours to move, or else. It took him 48 hours, and he went into hiding when he left. After years of abuse, he was right to be afraid. I was done. As I fought back (and got the better of him, when I caught him off guard), I said, “Go ahead and kill me, but I’m gonna get a piece of you!” While I do not advocate violence, I understand all too well how people can coerce others into remaining in unhealhty and unsafe situations. I was unsafe for years, increasingly so until that last altercation. After that point, it was him who was unsafe. I left our home (with our children) until he was packed, and ready to go.

    Amazingly he is in a 7 year relationship, and I understand that he has not been physically abusive. He was married once, and had a live-in, after we divorced, prior to his current girlfriend. We have both been through some counseling (as have the children, now adults), and are on speaking terms, sometimes friendlier than others. He has asked if he can come back home, and I have declined. I once asked him why it is that he hit me, and was not abusive to his current girlfriend, and he said it was because he did not love her. My boys have observed and opined that he is a misogynist, and that while he is not physically abusive, he is not very nice to her.

    I don’t know that the relationship of this couple was abusive in the past. I do know that controlling and abusive people use all sorts of tactics to keep their partners in relationships. Once my (then) husband knew that I did not fear death, and that I would rather die fighting than be terrorized any longer, he was gone. It seems to me that things came to a head with this couple, and went a different direction.

  32. Mom3.0 says:

    Dear MackiezMom,

    I truly appreciate you sharing your experiences with me/us.

    First let me say that I am very glad to hear that you broke the cycle of abuse and that you are safe and happy.

    I know I do not have to tell you you but I will anyway- you are very courageous and you are very lucky.

    I need to caution anyone in such a situation as yours to be careful and to seek outside help.- Confronting your abuser by catching them off-guard is probably not the safest way to get out. You were lucky MM.

    Perhaps Karen did just as you opined and she was not as lucky….youre right.

    Perhaps the abuse was escalating, and she had never feared her husbands retribution before- perhaps she felt it was never going to escalate to the physical or worse to the death…
    I would think she would never have chose to leave the children behind regardless of past abuse or not.

    There is still a chance her husband had nothing to do with her disappearance. She may have encountered a very bad person in the minutes it took her to check on the tire… Or perhaps – she could have set this up-
    There are cases of mothers abandoning their children to their fathers and walking away in similar circumstances- behind a mask of abduction…

    I do no think this is the case, from what I have read- she seems to be a levelheaded loving mother- but I do not know her or her husband…

    anything is possible.

    Questions- are there any traffic cams in the area? Are there any gas stations or 24 hr stores near there- where a person could run in and clean up? What is the nearest rest stop? Has it been checked for evidence? were there any other travelers around that area that night that saw anyone? Did her neighbor who saw the car pass any other vehicles that night?

    Again MM thank you for sharing- and I am very grateful and happy to know that you and your family are doing well.


    You are such a beacon when you can participate, and I know it is tough, many thanks

  33. Collette says:

    Karen’s abandoned vehicle was discovered less than a mile from her house. Dogs didn’t pick up her scent, because she wasn’t at the scene of the crime that morning. It’s reasonable to assume someone planted her car far enough, yet close enough, so they could make it back to their own home on foot…without being detected.

  34. LemonZest says:

    I wonder if she mentioned to David that she would be going back out- and while she laid down with her daughter for a little bit until she fell asleep, he punctured her tires to ‘prevent’ her from making it back to the party. She unknowingly drives off, and she get’s the flat- walks back home, and something escalates because she realizes what he did….just thinking….

  35. Kaye from Ohio says:

    All of these scenarios are good possibilities. I would like to suggest that perhaps a weirdo prowling the neighborhood followed her when she picked up her daughter at the slumber party. Perhaps the person waited for her to go jogging and was lying in wait for her by the jogging path. This same person could have driven her car to the place where it later was found and then could have disabled the car and left the scene with an accomplice.

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