1985 shooting death of grandmother visiting Smyrna reopens
SMYRNA, Tenn. -
A cold case involving the murder of a grandmother visiting family in 1985 has reopened.
Elizabeth Shannon, 68, from Scotland, was visiting her daughter in Smyrna for the winter when she was shot and killed January 18, 1985 during a burglary at her daughter's home on Rebel Road.
Twenty-nine years later, the case is being re-opened, and Smyrna detectives are looking for new leads to help find her killer.
Det. Robert Monroe said family members described Shannon as an "ideal grandmother" and a "sweetheart."
He said Shannon's daughter and son-in-law were at work when burglars forced their way through the front door and shot her to death.
"We feel there's evidence that they were, in fact, startled, and caught in the act, and that's why she was shot," Det. Monroe said.
He said her son-in-law, who was a teacher, returned home from school around 2:30 p.m. He found Shannon face down on the living room floor. She had been shot once in the back.
Detectives found the house in disarray. Dresser drawers had been pulled out and valuables were missing.
Det. Monroe said no one heard anything, but several witnesses saw a car in the driveway around Noon. He said that car led them to several persons of interest, but they didn't have enough evidence to make an arrest.
"We will start from the beginning. We will re-interview every witness that we can locate. Any persons of interest will be relocated," Det. Monroe said.
He said investigators did find evidence at the home that was tested back then, but it never led to a suspect.
That evidence will now be resubmitted and if the suspects touched anything, it could close this case. They will try to test it for "touch DNA," which only requires seven or eight samples of skin cells.
"With technology on our side, I think there's a very good chance we'll solve this," Det. Monroe said.
He added that Shannon's daughter and son-in-law passed away a few years ago, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren still follow the case and want justice.
Det. Monroe said he urges anyone with information or anyone who was interviewed about this case by Smyrna police, Rutherford County deputies, or by the Tennessee Bureau of Instigation, to contact him at 615-267-5455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.