By Emily West
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Police Department homicide detectives charged a Chattanooga man Sunday with failure to report the discovery of a dead body and evidence tampering after he admitted to driving a corpse, believed to be that of his mother, from Hamilton County to Nashville.
Thomas Henshall Jr., 37, arrived at Nashville’s VA Medical Center at 5:15 p.m. Saturday with the body wrapped and rolled up in a tarp in the back of his truck, authorities said. Henshall claimed that his mother had committed suicide and that he found her in a wooded area of Chattanooga.
According to Henshall and his girlfriend, whom he picked up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the body already in the truck, the couple stopped for food, gas and coffee before driving to a VA medical facility in Chattanooga and saw that it was closed. They wound up driving to Nashville’s VA Medical Center, passing multiple hospitals and law enforcement facilities along the way.
The evidence tampering charge stems from Henshall touching and concealing the victim’s body. During an interview with MNPD homicide detective Madison Meiss, Henshall said that he was right next to his mother when she shot herself; however, he told his girlfriend that he had discovered the victim in the woods. When Henshall was asked how his mother obtained a gun, he invoked his Miranda rights and ended the interview.
The homicide unit has provided information on this case to Chattanooga authorities and the TBI for investigative follow up in East Tennessee.
In the meantime, Henshall is jailed in Nashville in lieu of $80,000 bond.
This story was originally published September 26, 2021, by WTVF in Nashville, an E.W. Scripps Company.