NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 57-year-old man has been charged in the death of a woman whose body was found on the side of the road in Madison in November 2021.

Homicide Unit detectives swore out a warrant charging Michael Richard McKenzie with criminal homicide for the murder of Tabitha Ryals, 32, whose body was found on the side of Gibson Drive in Madison.

Blunt force trauma and asphyxia caused her death, according to Metro police.

Michael Richard McKenzie
Michael Richard McKenzie (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Metro police reported fingerprint and DNA evidence led to the identification of McKenzie as a suspect. According to witness information received Wednesday, McKenzie and Ryals were together in a Berkley Drive apartment when he repeatedly punched her in the face until she became unconscious, and then removed her body from the apartment.

McKenzie has been in the Metro jail since Tuesday evening on a felony aggravated assault charge for repeatedly punching his girlfriend on May 9 during an argument in a South Nashville store parking lot.

He was not on the scene when officers arrived. He was later spotted in an 8th Avenue South convenience market and arrested, according to Metro police.

No additional information was released.