published Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Franklin County, Tenn., investigators seek clues in slaying

HOW TO HELP

Anyone with any information about the killing of Cowan, Tenn., resident Corey N. Matthews overnight Saturday or early Sunday is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 931-962-0123 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Franklin County, Tenn., investigators are trying to figure out who killed 26-year-old Cowan resident Corey N. Matthews, whose body was found in a cornfield Sunday about two miles from his home.

Officials say they need information from the public in the probe launched Sunday after preliminary reports showed Matthews died of head trauma. His body is in Nashville for a forensic examination.

Family members hadn't seen Matthews since Saturday and reported him missing earlier Sunday before his body was found off the gravel Slag Town Road about 2:30 p.m. CDT, Cowan Police Chief Allen Edwards said Tuesday. The scene is just outside the Cowan city limits.

"Our officer was called to the residence and took a missing persons report on Sunday. [That officer] was the one who went out to there where he was found," Edwards said.

Since Matthews' body was found outside the city, sheriff's investigators took the lead on the investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting, he said.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Chris Guess said Matthews' body was found about a mile east of his Tennessee Avenue home as the crow flies over the cornfields surrounding the south end of Cowan, across Slag Town Road from tiny Jackson Cemetery.

Guess said Matthews lived at the same Cowan address at least all his adult life and talked to his family members daily. When the family hadn't seen or heard from him by Sunday morning, they became concerned, he said.

Officials "are running down leads and they're conducting interviews. They've been interviewing people since Sunday," Guess said Tuesday.

Officials declined to say whether anything was found at the site where the body was found.

Matthews had two school-age children, and his family in Cowan is understandably shattered, Guess said.

"It's a grieving process they're going through, just like any family would be," Guess said. "It's a traumatic thing, and they'll deal with it in their own way."

Funeral services for Matthews will be announced by Watson-North Funeral Home of Winchester, Tenn.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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