Suspect arrested in death of Harrison, Tenn., man

Suspect arrested in death of Harrison, Tenn., man

December 7th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating a suspicious death. Deputies went to 6422 Ware Branch Cove Drive in Harrison this morning and found a male body, lying in the basement. Photo by Beth Burger

Joshua Sterling Stoltz

Joshua Sterling Stoltz

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The body of David L. Murray, 46, was discovered Tuesday at 6422 Ware Branch Drive.

The body of David L. Murray, 46, was...

A man was arrested today in Valdosta, Ga., in connection with the death of a Harrison man.

The body of David L. Murray, 46, was discovered Tuesday at 6422 Ware Branch Drive.

At the time of the arrest, Joshua Sterling Stoltz, 19, was driving a 2005 red Ford truck that belonged to the victim, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Stoltz was taken into custody on unrelated charges in Lowndes County, Ga., and is awaiting extradition to Tennessee where he faces charges of criminal homicide and theft over $10,000.

After a woman hadn't heard from her brother in several days, she called the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and, with a spare house key, she and deputies went to his Harrison home Tuesday morning.

Inside 6422 Ware Branch Cove Drive, deputies found the man, who was in his 40s, lying in the basement in a large pool of blood, Sheriff Jim Hammond said at the scene.

The last time the victim was seen was Saturday, Hammond said, and it's unclear how long the body had been in the basement before deputies were called.

Lucy Smith, 67, who has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years, said the victim had only lived in the home for a couple of months.

"I'm just in shock. Everyone knows everybody around here," she said. "You just wouldn't expect something like this to happen in this area."

A friend had let the victim stay in the home because he was been down on his luck with work in the real estate and construction business, she said.

In his short time there, Smith said she had spoke with the man almost daily. His 12-year-old chocolate Labrador, McClain, would get out and roam the neighborhood, meeting up with her two dogs, a golden retriever and a chow mix, she said.

She would routinely take McClain back over to the residence and often talk with the victim, Smith said

However, in the past two weeks, she has not spoken with him, she said, and since Nov. 30, another man at the residence has always answered the phone.

Because of the crime scene, several animals inside the home were taken away by the Humane Education Society of Chattanooga.

"I'm going to try and find out what's happening to McClain," Smith said. "I'll try to convince my husband to let me take him."