Reward increased in McMinnville cold case murder - WSMV Channel 4

Reward increased in McMinnville cold case murder

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Rebecca Mooneyham Rebecca Mooneyham
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A puzzling crime has left the town of McMinnville wondering for four years now. A well-respected grandmother was found dead in her own living room, and to this day, there have been no arrests.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Warren County Sheriff's Office have now doubled the reward in the Rebecca Mooneyham case to $5,000.

Sheriff Jackie Matheny said he has worked quite a few murder investigations over the course of his career, but none of them compares to that August night four years ago when Mooneyham was shot while sleeping in her recliner.

"There was a vehicle that pulled up that night. The neighbors heard it stop, heard the gunshot and heard the vehicle speed off," Matheny said. "It's just goes beyond understanding and comprehension why anyone would harm such a wonderful lady."

The fatal bullet came through a picture window as Mooneyham's daughter slept on a couch just a few feet away.

"The shot woke her up, and she went to see about her, and realized what had happened and ran down the hall screaming," said daughter Lisa Davis.

There were no drugs involved and investigators have ruled out robbery as a motive.

They say Mooneyham didn't have an enemy in the world, and they're completely stumped why anyone would have murdered her.

"It is something that truly bothers me and bothers our entire staff. It's hard to comprehend why anyone would hurt her, because she was such a good woman, but we're working on it," Matheny said.

There's one chilling fact that haunts family members.

"It seemed to be a calculated shot. I mean, someone stopped and took aim while she was asleep. It seems highly unlikely that a random shot in the house would have done that," Davis said.

They're hoping a $5,000 reward will jog someone's memory and help police get a killer off the streets.

"We know someone knows something," Davis said.

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