Detective Burdette moved through the house in light steps, as if to not disturb the eventual 100 or so pieces of evidence that would be found and logged from throughout the house, a stark contrast to other cases that reared only ten to 20 pieces of evidence.

Calmly, Detective Burdette described to me the murder scene that, even with the distance of three-and-a-half years later, he was able to do as if it had been permanently ingrained into his memory, nestled between the threads of personal moments with his wife and family that were forced to co-exist uncomfortably next to recollections of such violent finality.

The violent finality, in particular, of Thomas’ life stood out. She was shot while in a postured sleep position that indicated no alarm on her behalf, and a chillingly detached range that suggested the purposeful avoidance of having to face her and her reaction. Furthermore, the murderer left her untouched and showed no attempts to frantically revive an unrevivable situation.

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Woman in hoop earrings and blue paisley shirt Front of house with crime scene tape in front of it

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