Two arrested in murder of Smith County woman - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Two arrested in murder of Smith County woman

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PLEASANT SHADE, TN (WSMV) -

"It's just kind of unnerving," Doreen Clement said, "kind of unnerving."

The people who live in the small community of Pleasant Shade are on edge after learning a woman was killed in their town.

"It's a pretty close-knit community and everybody knows everybody," Clement said.

Police say 29-year-old Dawn Duke knew her alleged killers, it is reported they were friends.

She was killed early Friday morning.

Her body was found with multiple stab wounds on the side of Thomas Ridge Lane that afternoon.

The TBI has arrested 38-year-old Melinda Bush and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Stephone Berry.

Both have been charged with first degree murder.

"We feel terrible for the family," says Smith County Sheriff Steve Hopper. "The other family that's involved also, that live in the county," he added. "It's hard on both sides."

Thomas Ridge Lane is a quiet rural farming area, with only a few houses and not much trouble. Smith County deputies say this is the first time someone has been killed in the last three years.

"For the deputies and everybody involved, you never get used to something like this," Sheriff Hopper said.  

Smith County deputies worked with the TBI, and the district attorney's office to find the suspects. "We tried to keep it under wraps as much as we could so we could complete our investigation and nobody be tipped off that we were even looking for anybody," Hopper said. It only took hours before both were in custody in the quaint town where word travels quickly.

"They can rest easy that there is not a murderer running around in our county," Hopper said.

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