Police search for clues in murder-arson investigation

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Greeneville's West Main Street is a busy thoroughfare at certain times of the day, but Sunday morning isn't one of them.

That's why Greeneville Police Captain David Crum tells News 5 he's surprised that the city's first murder of year happened on Main Street early Sunday morning.

"Sunday mornings are usually quiet as people are getting ready to go to church or sleeping in." Captain David Crum, Greeneville Police Department.

We learned police discovered two victims early Sunday morning who had been left for dead after someone set their home on fire.

"One of our patrol officers was driving by yesterday morning at about 9:13 a.m. and saw smoke coming from a home and responded and asked for assistance," said Crum.

Crum tells us when they went inside they found 78-year-old Elizabeth Cooter dead.

Cooter's 49-year-old nephew Roger Aiken was still alive, but in bad shape and rescue workers took him to the Johnson City Medical Center.

"Based on injuries, once we got everything processed we determined it was more than just a fire that caused any injures," said Crum.

Investigators believe someone attacked Aiken and Cooter and then set the house on fire to cover up the crime.

Crum tells us there was no evidence of a forced entry at the home.

If you have any information that could help investigators solve this crime, you are urged to call the Greeneville Police Department at 423-783-2868.

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