A Tennessee man wrapped his mother’s dead body in a tarp and hauled it across the state in his truck — while stopping along the way with his girlfriend for gas, food and coffee, police said.
Thomas Henshall Jr., 37, of Chattanooga, was arrested Saturday by cops at Nashville’s Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center after admitting to driving his mother’s corpse from Hamilton County, police said in a statement Sunday.
“Henshall claimed that his mother had committed suicide and that he found her in a wooded area of Chattanooga,” Nashville police said.
Henshall told officers he picked up his girlfriend early Saturday with his mother’s body already stowed in his vehicle before stopping for food, coffee and gas on their way to the VA facility, which was closed at the time.
The pair ended up driving some 130 miles away to Nashville’s VA Medical Center, passing multiple other hospitals and law enforcement agencies on their way, police said.
Henshall told investigators his mother, identified by cops as Danielle Bowen, 60, fatally shot herself, claiming he was “right next” to her when she took her own life.
But Henshall told his girlfriend, who wasn’t identified by police, that he had earlier found his mother dead in a wooded area. He then stopped talking to investigators when they asked how the woman got her hands on a gun, police said.
Henshall has been charged with failure to report the discovery of Bowen’s body and evidence tampering.
Meanwhile, homicide detectives are continuing to investigate, police tweeted Sunday.
Henshall’s girlfriend said he called her Friday and Saturday while distraught before going to her home and claiming he found Bowen dead in the woods and that they needed to take her somewhere, an arrest warrant obtained by WKRN shows.
Henshall told investigators he had secured the gun allegedly used by his mother in his RV near a lake near Chattanooga, but refused to provide more details. He also claimed to have left his cellphone behind, although detectives say he used the device to email his girlfriend earlier Saturday.
“He’s not accountable for anything,” Bowen said in a recording attached to the email sent by Henshall to his girlfriend, an arrest warrant shows. “He’s agreed to put me out of my misery.”
Henshall remains jailed in Nashville on an $80,000 bond, online records show. A Nashville police spokeswoman said no additional information was immediately available early Monday. It’s unclear if Henshall has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.