Suspect arrested in murder of Drummonds woman

Starr Harris
Starr Harris
Rickey Bell
Rickey Bell

By Jason Miles - bio | email

DRUMMONDS, TN (WMC-TV) - Authorities in Tipton County arrested a suspect Tuesday in the murder of a Drummonds woman.

Officials with the Tipton County Sheriff's Office arrested Rickey Bell for the murder.

Starr Harris, 36, was found on June 1 in a wooded area behind her residence on Richardson Landing Lane in Drummonds. A preliminary autopsy revealed that Harris, the mother of three, received severe blunt force trauma to the upper torso and head.

Bell was taken into custody late Tuesday afternoon.  Minutes after he was led from a squad car and into the Tipton County Jail, Harris' mother-in-law and stepson talked about what the arrest means to the family.

"I just don't want my dad worrying about who did it no more," stepson Josh Harris said. "Just finally glad he got caught."

"I just hope he gets what he deserves...he don't deserve to live either," mother-in-law Fran Harris added.

Suspect Rickey Bell lived just around the corner, and worked for the family's landscaping business.

Family members said they were aware of Bell's criminal past, which included a long stint in a Pennsylvania prison for committing what is equivalent to a carjacking.

He had only been back in Drummonds since his release from prison in February.

"We're gonna keep this investigation going as we speak, work around the clock on it still," Sheriff Pancho Chumley said. "Just because we have someone in custody, the investigation has not stopped. It's gonna be ongoing."

Of his arrest, the sheriff would only say that Bell was taken into custody without incident in Shelby County.

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