Slain mother's children put in state custody

Slain mother's children put in state custody

October 29th, 2010 by Todd South in News

Bundles of used yellow crime-scene tape sat in chairs on the stoop of an Oakwood Drive apartment Thursday morning, a day after a mother of five was found dead by her children.

Chattanooga police said Thursday they are investigating the death of Chandra Powell, 35, as a homicide. Her body was at the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office awaiting an autopsy that is scheduled for today, authorities said.

Investigators' initial reports Wednesday showed multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma, police spokeswoman Officer Rebecca Royval said in a release.

Police said Powell's older children found her body on the floor of the British Woods apartment when they arrived home from school Wednesday afternoon.

Powell had two daughters, age 15 and 16, and two sons, age 11 and 7, as well as a 2-week-old daughter. The infant was found unharmed in a bassinet, police said.

Department of Children's Services spokesman Rob Johnson confirmed that all five children were in department custody Thursday afternoon.

Royval said Powell was single and moved to Chattanooga a little more than a year ago, Royval said.

Hamilton County court records did not show that Powell had signed any orders of protection, commonly known as restraining orders and often a sign of domestic turmoil.

Lt. Kirk Eidson, head of major crimes, said Powell's family had been contacted in Indiana and were traveling to Chattanooga.

The death marks the 16th homicide in Chattanooga this year.