Men who found Karen Swift's body recount story - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Men who found Karen Swift's body recount story

(WMC-TV) - One of the men who found the body of missing mother Karen Swift said he might not have seen the body if kudzu had not been partially killed off by cold weather.

Swift's body was discovered last Saturday near a rural Dyer County cemetery, two and a half months after she was last seen alive.

Wanda Rickman is the wife of one of the two men who found Swift's body.

"We've just been uplifting the family in prayer since this whole ordeal started," said Wanda Rickman.  "We're glad there's closure for the family."

Mark Rickman was out of town working construction.  Wanda Rickman said her husband is still upset by what he saw.

"It's something you don't expect in your lifetime," she said.  "He's really devastated over it."

Mark Rickman discovered Swift's remains with Pastor John Robinson, who is the cemetery's trustee.  There were there to inspect some overturned tombstones and noticed what appeared to be an arm or leg sticking out of some withered kudzu vines.

Robinson, who declined to be interviewed, told Action News 5 he said what he needed to say to the Dyersburg State Gazette.

In the local newspaper, Robinson said, "We noticed a body part from a distance and the closer I got, you could tell it was a body."

Robinson said the body was not in a shallow grave, but rather hiding in plain sight.  He and Mark Rickman never got within 20 feet of the body and immediately called the sheriff's office.

"At least they can quit looking for her and start looking for somebody," Robinson told the newspaper.

The area where Swift's body was found was never part of a plotted search.  Investigators are still trying to determine whether Smith was killed there or somewhere else.

Extra patrols will continue until an arrest is made.

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