published Friday, April 4th, 2014

Woman comes home to find boyfriend dead in Brainerd

A woman came home to her PineWood apartment in Brainerd on Thursday morning from working third-shift to discover her boyfriend dead.

Chattanooga police responded to a call about 9 a.m. about a person dead in an apartment at 3301 Pinewood Ave. When they arrived, officers and emergency medical personnel discovered a deceased black man with apparent trauma to the head, according to police spokesman Officer Tim McFarland.

Police don't know what caused the fatal injury yet, and they have no suspect information and very few leads, McFarland said. Police haven't released the victim's identity because they haven't been able to notify the family yet. Officers did not release the name of the girlfriend.

There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment.

It's unknown if the victim was a resident of the complex or was just staying with his girlfriend, McFarland said.

Likewise, neighbors also said they weren't sure if the victim was originally from the area.

"It's sad to say, you ain't even safe in your own home," said Eric Jones, who lives in the building across from where the body was found.

Jones said he heard gunshots around 12:15 a.m., but that when he looked outside and didn't see anything going on, he didn't bother calling the police since random gunshots are fairly common to hear in that neighborhood.

Jones added that since the side of the building where the victim was found was mostly empty, it wasn't likely that there would have been an immediate neighbor to report the gunshots.

Although during the investigation officers have heard reports from neighbors of gunshots being heard the night before, they received no calls about shots fired in the area overnight, McFarland said.

Jones said that he was woken up Thursday morning by a friend calling and asking if he was all right.

"I got a phone call asking what's going on at your apartments? Are you all right?" Jones said. "I said, yeah, I'm all right. He said to look out of the window, and there's a bunch of police cars lined up out there."

The apartment complex has of 56 units spread across seven buildings, and Jones said it's usually pretty quiet.

"How it is right now, this is how it is every day out here. Don't nobody bother nobody. Everybody keeps to themselves," Jones said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police.

Contact staff writer Alex Harris at aharris@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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