UPDATE: Victims identified in Helena double homicide
Published 4:38 pm Friday, January 21, 2022
By MICHELLE LOVE and ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Writers
HELENA – The victims of a double homicide in Helena were identified on Friday afternoon, Jan. 21.
Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans shared that Sharon Tarwater Whited, 40, and her father Chester E Tarwater Jr. 75, were the two victims of the tragedy.
The investigation is still underway, and Helena police, along with other law enforcement, continue to search for John Peyton Scott III for questioning.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 19, the two Helena residents were found in a home located at the 100 block of Piney Woods Drive in the Riverwoods neighborhood.
Scott was pegged as a person of interest, and authorities were hoping to speak with him but have yet to locate him.
Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn described Scott as being 41 years old with a size of 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 275 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Scott is believed to be driving a red 2020 Ford EcoSport with the Alabama tag DV47860.
Police were called to the scene when a 12-year-old grandson of the couple at the address came home and found his grandfather unresponsive. The boy then called the fire department, who determined the man was deceased upon arrival. The fire department then called the Helena Police Department.
Upon arrival, Flynn said officers found one subject down that they determined was deceased. Flynn said during the subsequent search of the house, they found another individual who was also deceased.
Flynn confirmed that it was one male and one female and that foul play is suspected. Nothing was taken from the residence.
Flynn said it was a long night, and they continue to work the investigation.
“We will work diligently and nonstop to bring the person responsible for this crime to justice,” Flynn said. “Major Crimes detectives are also being assisted by local, state and federal agencies as they conduct this investigation, and we are very appreciative for their assistance as well.”
According to Flynn, Scott was in a domestic relationship with one of the victims, and several additional family members who were not present at the time also live at the residence. Flynn said there was no record of any past issues or calls to the residence.
When asked if he had anything to say to Scott, Flynn replied, “Please call us. We just want to talk to you. We know that he has to be upset and worried, and we want to speak with him and try to arrange a time to sit down and talk.”
Flynn said the police department has received a significant amount of support from the community.
“We’ve received significant amount of support for the family members as well as support for the investigation. The community is very supportive of the effort that’s being done to try to find the answers and find who is responsible for this, and as a result we’re getting a lot of positive information and positive tips that we are tracking down.”
Flynn said anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Scott or any information that may aid to this investigation should contact Detective Michael Nelson at the Helena Police Department at 205-663-6499 or through email at email@example.com.