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Local woman’s killing remains unsolved year later

Laurie Everett mtjulietnews@tds.net • Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 2:14 AM

It was a year ago Halloween night when police discovered a Mt. Juliet mother shot dead in her vehicle parked behind the U-Store-It facility in south Mt. Juliet.

“The case is still active and moving forward,” Public Safety Director Andy Garrett said Friday.

An arrest hasn’t been made, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting Mt. Juliet police in the case that involves the discovery of Sara A. McPherson, 35, dead in the driver’s seat of her 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante at the storage facility.

On the day of the one-year anniversary of her niece’s apparent killing, McPherson’s aunt, Gayla Gillispie Hare Moog, posted a sentimental message on Mt. Juliet News’ Facebook page.

“It was one year ago tonight that my niece Sara was murdered in your town. Still no answers on who did it. Stay close to your family tonight. And if you know anything or think you know anything please tell the police department,” she wrote.

In a story published in Mt. Juliet News after the discovery of McPherson’s body, police spokesperson Tyler Chandler responded to questions about the incident.

"Early this morning Officer Michael Rountree was on routine patrol on Central Pike around 1:13 a.m. and became suspicious when he saw a vehicle parked with the lights on," said Chandler. "The vehicle was parked at the U-Store-It."

At that time, he said the medical examiner estimated the death happened sometime between 10 p.m. the night before and just before the time the body was discovered.

Garrett said forensics results were returned and are being processed. He declined to say if there was a person of interest in the case.

“I do think it’s a solvable case; it depends on how much evidence we can present,” said Garrett.

He said his detectives have regular conversations with the mother of the victim.

“We don’t forget victims,” he said. “We try to keep family in the loop to know we care and that the victims are not just statistics.”

In a statement issued after McPherson's body was found, Chandler said there was "no indication that the woman was looking at a storage unit." He also said the woman was not an employee of the storage facility and "there is no indication that this was a random killing."

“I feel confident there will be resolution of this case,” Chandler said. “It has to be pieced together.”

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