David Gardner, 42, of Turtletown, Tenn. was found dead in a garage at his residence on state Highway 123 on Feb. 4, 2012. (Polk County jail mugshot)
A 42-year-old Polk County, Tenn., man whose body was found Saturday inside a steel garage building had been hit on the head in what is being called a homicide, authorities said.
David Gardner's body was found where he had been living at 416 state Highway 123 in Turtletown, Tenn., less than a mile from the North Carolina state line, according to a news release from Polk County Sheriff Bill Davis.
Gardner's friends called sheriff's deputies, saying he hadn't been seen in a couple of weeks, so officers went to check out the home, Davis stated in the release.
"Gardner appeared to have been struck in the head," Davis stated.
The county coroner listed the cause of death as homicide, officials said.
Forensic evidence was collected from the scene and sent for analysis, officials said.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the state agency's role in the investigation has been "very limited" so far.
Polk County Jail records show Gardner had a couple of run-ins with the law in the last few months.
On Aug. 27, he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication, records show. On Jan. 5, he was arrested on a felony count of aggravated assault, and misdemeanor counts of evading arrest and resisting arrest, records show.
Polk authorities would not say whether there were any suspects in the investigation or whether Gardner's death was related in any way to the charges filed against him in January.
Anyone with any information about David Gardner's death can contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 423-338-4540.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...