published Monday, May 20th, 2013

UPDATE: Soddy-Daisy fugitive accused of killing his pregnant wife kills himself

Authorities arrive at the Budget Inn in Gordon County, Ga.
Authorities arrive at the Budget Inn in Gordon County, Ga.
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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A Soddy-Daisy slaying suspect accused of killing his pregnant wife and then leading police on a manhunt is dead, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond confirmed this morning.

Terry Lee Releford had been on the run since Sunday after his wife, Tammy, was found dead inside a home at 8912 Lovell Road. Authorities found Releford at the Budget Inn Hotel, 1442 U.S. Highway 41, in Gordon County, Ga., and were negotiating with him to turn himself in when he killed himself with a single gunshot to the head, Hammond said at a news conference.

He said Tammy Releford had two daughters, both juveniles, who were at the home when their mother was killed. One of them escaped and ran to a neighbor’s office for help, he said.

Hammond said it appeared that the victim died from blunt-force trauma to her head and upper portions of her body, but a Hamilton County medical examiner’s report is not complete. It also is possible Tammy Releford was shot, he said.

“Because of the damage to the body, we’ll have to wait for the autopsy,” Hammond said.

He said cell phones were used to help track the suspect.

Hammond was unable to say if the couple had a history of domestic violence or if there had been earlier law enforcement calls to the Lovell Road address.

There is no record in Hamilton County of any order of protection involving Terry Releford.

The Relefords were married in August 2012, county marriage records show.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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