Brutal Homicide - First in 3 Years




Brutal Homicide -  First in 3 Years
By: Kate Scott

(Union City, TN)--Investigators in a Northwest Tennessee town are working their first homicide case in more than three years.

The body of 81-year old Hilon Pruitt was found Thursday morning inside his Union City home, where he lived alone.  Investigators say Pruitt was stabbed to death, in what they're calling a “brutal homicide.”

Union City Police were called to the house at 612 North Morgan Street shortly after 7 o’clock on Thursday morning. That was after one of Pruitt’s friends stopped by to check on him, when he failed to show up for work at the Reynolds Brothers Tire Company.  Police Chief Joe Garner says Pruitt had been stabbed to death in his living room, probably sometime after 7:30 on Wednesday night.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations was called in from Memphis to gather physical evidence at the scene. And by Thursday afternoon, police were already considering a motive.  “Right now, we believe the motive was robbery,” Garner tells Heartland News.   “There was some money that we determined was missing from the residence.”

Interestingly enough, the house directly across the street from Pruitt’s was also burglarized on Wednesday night. Garner says the owner of 615 North Morgan Street came home from work in the wee hours of Thursday morning, to find the home had been ransacked. Investigators aren't sure if the two crimes are related, but it's something they're looking into.

Right now, Garner says Union City Police don't have any suspects. But because there were no signs of forced entry on Pruitt’s home, he says it could have been someone that the elderly man knew.  “It will probably take us some time to resolve it, but we will resolve it,” he vows. 

The Shelby County Coroner in Memphis will perform Pruitt’s autopsy, to determine the exact cause of death.  The Obion County Sheriff’s Department is also helping in the investigation.

If you think you have any information that would help police, you're asked to call Union City Crime Stoppers at 731-885-TIPS.