Carter Co. woman facing first-degree murder charge in child’s death

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CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Carter County deputies arrested a woman on a warrant that charged her with first degree murder of her three-year-old son.

Tabatha Michelle Sword, age 35, was taken into custody on Tuesday in Kingsport.

The Carter County Sheriff’s Office said the charges stemmed from an investigation by the Elizabethton Police Department into the death of her child in May 2017. The investigation found Sword neglected her son which resulted in his death.

On May 27, Carter County Dispatch received a call just before 10 a.m. from Sword, reporting her son was missing.

“I can’t find him anywhere,” Sword explained to the 911 dispatch caller. “I’ve checked under the bed, in the closet.”

In the police report, Sword claimed her son was asleep in his bed when she locked her door and pushed the edge of the couch in front of the door, so it wouldn’t open. Sword said she left the room to use the bathroom and when she returned she found her son was gone and the door was open.

While speaking with dispatch Sword said “Apparently he unlocked the door that’s the only thing I can think of and he is not in the house at all and he’s three-years-old.”

Elizabethton Police Capt. Shane Darling said when officers arrived at the scene, they found Sword searching for her son with a neighbor.

“If he’s in the water he can’t swim,” Sword said during the call to dispatch.

Capt. Darling said once officers arrived on scene to search the area, they found the boy’s body in a nearby creek.

According to Capt. Darling, the Elizabethton Police Department presented the facts of the case to the Carter County Grand Jury, who indicted Sword with first-degree murder on Nov. 1.

“The subsequent investigation produced evidence that Tabatha Sword was neglectful to the care of the child and that neglect led to the death of the child,” Darling said.

Sword is currently behind bars at Carter County Jail with $100,000 bond.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 20.Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved. 

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