Woman, 88, attacked in Carter County dies; Case now a murder investigation

CARTER COUNTY (WJHL) - Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford says an elderly woman who was attacked in the Stoney Creek community has died.

Sheriff Lunceford said the case is now a homicide investigation after learning the woman died, Wednesday.

The sheriff's office says Mary Nolan died from her injuries after she was severely beaten. Investigators said a family member found the 88-year-old woman seriously injured on July 14 in her Dan Bowers Rd. home.

Her neighbor Sandy Bowers tells News Channel 11's Justin Soto she's shaken up after what happened to her neighbor, "it tore me up to pieces and I've not been the same since," Bowers said.

She describes Nolan as a loving and caring person who always looked out for her and Wednesday night she told us she's missing that friendship.

"Mary was a very loving, caring person, she cared about her neighbors and especially her family," Bowers said.

The two have known each other for over a year. Bowers said Nolan was always there to check in on her," If my window was up out here she would holler at me and ask me how I was," Bowers said.

See also: Carter County deputies investigate brutal attack after woman, 88, found badly injured

Bowers said it use to be a quiet neighborhood but now she's worried for her safety and is considering moving. She's anxious for investigators to catch the person or people responsible and wants to make sure Nolan's family knows she's there for them.

"I just want her family to know that I loved her and if they need me they know where I am," Bowers said.

Sheriff Lunceford declined an interview on the case Wednesday but tells us investigators are doing everything they can and they're waiting on forensic and autopsy results. He said there are no new leads in the case and he still feels people in that community shouldn't worry.

The family has offered a $2,500 reward for any information that can lead investigators to an arrest and conviction.

If you have any information you're asked to call the sheriff's office at 423-542-1845 or you can send an anonymous tip at Sheriff Lunceford also said people can pay a visit to him or one of his officers.

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