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‘Definitely more than just today’: Man living in Independence apartment with body of murder victim for days

By Brian Hamrick

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    INDEPENDENCE, Kentucky (WLWT) — A man arrested and charged with murder is believed to have been staying in his apartment with the body of the victim for days.

Police said a woman’s coworkers were concerned when she hadn’t shown up for work in a few days.

“We had a well-being check at the address over here in Beech Grove,” said Independence police Capt. Brian Ferayorini. “A woman had not been at work in a couple of days.”

Ferayorini said officers were surprised by what happened after they knocked on the door of the apartment on Summerset where the woman was known to stay.

“When the officers arrived, they were greeted by a male who advised that he had killed the female inside, and she was inside,” Ferayorini said.

Police found the body of the woman in the bedroom of the apartment. She has been identified as 32-year-old Emily Harris. Preliminary reports indicate she died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders.

Investigators are not yet sure how long she had been in the apartment, but believe it’s more than a day.

“We’re going to do an autopsy to confirm, but it was definitely more than just today,” Ferayorini said.

Sanders said the suspect, Tommy Powell, 55, was taken into custody at the house that police said he shared with Harris.

Powell was uninjured but was taken to the hospital for dehydration. Officials say he remains under police watch at the hospital and when released he will be booked into the Kenton County Detention Center. He has been charged with murder – domestic violence. The charge carries a penalty of 20 to 50 years or life in prison.

Police said he was arrested previously back in January but did not give the details of the arrest.

Neighbors tell WLWT they believe the victim and suspect were in a relationship.

“That creeps me out a little bit,” said Mike Rottenberger. “It threw me for a loop.”

Rottenberger is the maintenance manager at the apartment complex where the body was found. He had even worked with the man on projects around the complex.

“He’s always a great guy. I mean, just funny, outgoing,” Rottenberger said. “So, it surprised me.”

Police said the investigation into the timing and circumstances of Harris’s murder remain under investigation.

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