OXFORD WEEKLY PLANET
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sheriff's detective found dead
Longtime officer fatally shot at his home
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Detective Charles Tatum was found dead in his Combs Street apartment today of an apparent self-inflicted wound. Tatum, 45, was a 21-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department and most recently had served as a detective in the Vice Squad.
Sheriff's deputies discovered the body Sunday morning after being called to the scene by a concerned neighbor. Tatum had apparently been dead inside his apartment for several days prior to the discovery. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow to determine the time and cause of death.
Sheriff Taylor Sheldon did not respond to questions about how long Tatum had been dead or why his body was not found earlier.
In a prepared statement to the press late this afternoon, Sheriff Sheldon said, "Detective Charles Tatum was a highly valued member of this department. His loss is a terrible tragedy, both for the department and for the public."
Sheldon refused to answer any questions about the circumstances surrounding Tatum's death. He would not comment on any possible motivations for Tatum's apparent suicide or whether a suicide note was found.
Tatum is the first member of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department to die of other than natural causes in nearly two decades.
The Sheriff's Department declined to release any information on the investigations Tatum was conducting at the time of his death and would not say whether foul play is suspected in the death of the respected detective.
Tatum, who was unmarried, is survived by his mother and his two siblings, all of whom live out of state.
Funeral arrangements are pending, but a service is expected to be held in Oxford before the body is returned to Tatum's hometown of Guin, Alabama for burial.
Check back for updates on this developing story.