Slain Franklin County woman's kin set up reward fund

Slain Franklin County woman's kin set up reward fund

July 17th, 2012 by Ben Benton in News

Erika Megan Sharpton, 24, of Tullahoma, Tenn., was killed around July 2 and her body was found burning off of Awalt Road by a paassing motorist in Franklin County, Tenn.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

REWARD FUND

A reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the death of Erika Megan Sharpton has been established at American City Bank. To donate, send contributions to the attention of "Michelle" at American City Bank, 340 W. Lincoln St., Tullahoma, TN 37388 or stop by any of the branches in Tullahoma, Manchester or Decherd.

Body found in Franklin County

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

As investigators probe the early July discovery of Erika Megan Sharpton's still-burning body in Franklin County, the nursing student's family has established a reward fund for information in her killing.

After a week of investigation, authorities say they can name no suspects and still are seeking information in the slaying of the 24-year-old from Tullahoma, Tenn.

Sharpton's body was found about 1:18 a.m. CDT on July 2 by a passing motorist who turned around to check out and report a grass fire on Awalt Road at the bridge over Tims Ford Lake.

Sharpton's red 1995 Ford Mustang was found later the same day on Three Forks Bridge Road southeast of Shelbyville, Tenn., in Bedford County, 15 to 20 miles from where her body was found, according to Franklin County Sheriff's Office investigator Sgt. Chris Guess.

Early autopsy results indicated Sharpton was killed by a blow to the head from a blunt object, which Guess said last week probably happened in another location. Her body was dumped at the Awalt Road site and set on fire, he said.

As authorities continue to track down leads, family and friends are seeking contributions to the reward fund established for information leading to an arrest, according to American City Bank officials.

Main branch Manager Michelle Martin said donors can make contributions by mail or at any of the bank's branches in Coffee and Franklin counties.

Sharpton was taking nursing courses at a technical school in Winchester, Tenn., according to comments her mother, identified as Kelly Sharpton, made to the Tullahoma News.

Megan Sharpton "believed that there were no bad people, just people who make bad decisions," her mother told the newspaper. "Megan would not be hung up on revenge, just the answer."

Meanwhile, Sharpton's Mustang is being examined at the TBI crime lab, Guess said.

A pink purse, believed to be Megan Sharpton's, was found "in reasonable proximity" to the Awalt Road crime scene and is also among items being examined at the crime lab, he said.

Guess said officials are especially interested in any sightings of the Mustang and any other clues during the time between 10:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, July 1, and 2 a.m. CDT July 2 in the areas of Awalt Road in Franklin County and the Three Forks Bridge Road area in Bedford County.

Authorities ask that anyone with information related to the investigation call the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 931-967-2331 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-824-3463.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or bbenton@timesfreepress.com.