Coroner's info

Taylor Sheldon, Sheriff
Oxford, Mississippi 38655


CASE #: 001905-16D-2023
CASE DESCRIPTION: Charles Tatum death investigation
ASSIGNED INVESTIGATORS:   Det. Ted Armstrong, Det. Samantha Murphy
DATE: April 17, 2023


At 2:22 p.m. this date, Manish Agarwal, M.D. of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office contacted Detectives Sam Murphy and Ted Armstrong regarding his findings in the autopsy of Detective Charles Tatum (YCSD Incident # 001905-16D-2023). Dr. Agarwal requested the detectives respond immediately to the Coroner's Officer for further information.

Reporting Investigators (R/Is) Murphy and Armstrong arrived at the Coroner's Office at 2:37 p.m.

Upon arrival, Dr. Agarwal stated that his autopsy on Detective Charles Tatum indicated his death was the result of homicide, not suicide as initially suspected. Dr. Agarwal showed R/Is the body of the deceased and directed the detectives' attention to the location of the entry wound just above and behind the right ear. Dr. Agarwal stated that the position of the entry wound and the 60° angle of the wound path are inconsistent with a finding of suicide and are indicative of homicide. Dr. Agarwal said additional tests were conducted during the autopsy, and the results would be included in his report.

Immediately following their conversation with Dr. Agarwal, R/Is contacted Sheriff Taylor Sheldon via landline and notified him of the coroner's findings in the Tatum autopsy.

R/Is then contacted Internal Affairs via landline and notified them of the coroner's findings in the Tatum autopsy.

R/Is then went to the crime scene at 107-B Combs Street and notified the on-site Internal Affairs personnel that the designation had been changed to homicide and they should adjust their actions accordingly. R/Is further requested that Internal Affairs provide by the end of the day an exclusionary list of all investigators who have been on-site at any time since the discovery of the body. Receipt of that list is pending at the time of this filing.

R/Is then notified CSU to report to the scene at 107-B Combs Street as soon as possible to collect evidence.

The crime scene remains sealed for ongoing processing by CSU and Internal Affairs.



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