Tenn. State Poet mourns murdered artist husband - WKRN News 2

Tenn. State Poet mourns murdered artist husband

Posted: Updated: April 17, 2013 06:45 PM
Harriette Bias-Insignares Harriette Bias-Insignares

A woman who has been the state poet of Tennessee and first poet laureate of Nashville is looking for answers after her husband, an accomplished artist and Olympian, was found shot death in their car.

"What I can describe is the feeling of loss that a person experiences when a loved one is just snatched out of your life," said Dr. Harriette Bias-Insignares.

She told Nashville's News 2 her husband Jorge Insignares dropped her off to do their taxes Monday afternoon at an H&R Block office just off Welshwood Drive in South Nashville.

"I could see him sitting in our car texting for much of the time I was in there," Dr. Bias-Insignares said. "He just had a death in the family out of the country, so I presume he was trying to get more information before he was supposed to come in and join me."

Bias-Insignares said the car was gone when she came of the tax office.  

She told Nashville's News 2 that, "I called his cell phone, but someone else answered saying they had found the phone, so I presumed he had gone to retrieve it, but the person who answered had not seen him."

Bias-Insignares said she arranged for a ride home, hoping her husband would show up, before she alerted Rutherford County authorities Tuesday morning that he was missing.

Metro police, who are calling it a murder, say Jorge Insignares was found shot to death in the front passenger seat of the couple's Lincoln Town Car Tuesday morning on Jonquil Drive near Benita Drive, not far from the tax office where he was last seen.

Police have said in a statement that "the scene strongly indicates that someone other than Insignares drove the Town Car to Jonquil Drive. Robbery may have been the motive."

Bias-Insignares said she and her husband had just driven from their Murfreesboro home to Nashville for the tax preparation.

Late Wednesday police released more information saying in a statement that neighbors "report hearing noises that could have been gunshots a short time before the car was first noticed.

A motorist traveling on Jonquil Drive Monday afternoon at approximately 1:20 p.m. has told detectives that he saw a black man wearing a white T-shirt at the driver's side door of the car.  That person fled the area on foot."

"I don't know what happened," the grieving woman said. "My husband had been a portrait artist, but he was always very friendly--talking with anyone."

She said Jorge's works included a Tennessee State University president and longtime Tennessean critic Clara Hieronymus.

"He could take a photograph and make it come alive," she said from her Murfreesboro area home where his portraits and paintings adorned their home. 

Dr. Insignares said her husband Jorge played on the Venezuelan Olympic Soccer team, along with a pro career in South America before helping start boys and girls soccer leagues in Middle Tennessee.

Her husband's murder is another difficult chapter in the poet's life.

She is also fighting cancer.

"My husband was very instrumental in helping me progress as much as I have," said the woman who has spent a lifetime using words.  " I really lost my right hand..lost my right hand," she added as her voice trailed off.

Dr. Bias-Insignares has served as Tennessee's Official State Poet and Arts Advocate since 1977, and she was named the first Poet Laureate of Nashville in 2007.

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