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Police arrest man on murder charge for leaving woman’s body on side of Madison road

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 12:32 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Nashville’s homicide unit detectives charged a man on Wednesday for a murder in November 2021.

MNPD officials said detectives swore out a warrant, charging Michael Richard Mckenzie, 57, with criminal homicide for the murder of Tabitha Ryals, 32, whose body was found last November on the side of Gibson Drive in Madison. Detectives determined the cause of her death was blunt force trauma and asphyxia.

According to witness information received on 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. Officials added that fingerprint and DNA evidence had initially led to the identification of McKenzie as a suspect in this case.

Authorities said McKenzie has already been in jail since Tuesday due to a felony aggravated assault charge for repeatedly punching his girlfriend on May 9th during an argument in a South Nashville store parking lot. McKenzie was not on the scene when officers arrived.

McKenzie was later spotted in an 8th Avenue South convenience market on Tuesday evening and arrested, according to police.

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