An East Hamblen County man, who was found dead Friday afternoon inside his modest and cluttered two-room home off Whitesburg Pike, very likely was not a homicide victim, law enforcement officials have concluded.
The preliminary-autopsy results released Saturday morning indicate that Brandon Seals, 36, had no internal injuries, according to Detective Sgt. Jim Brooks with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department. Brooks says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent assigned to assist the sheriff’s department came to the same conclusion.
“We can’t rule (homicide) out, but it’s not looking like it is,” Brooks said.
Brooks says Seals’ wallet, which contained money, was found close to his lifeless body inside the locked residence. The detective says it could take three to four months for the Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville to complete the autopsy, which will include a toxicology analysis.
The detective says he believes Seals died some time between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Seals, a laborer who works odd jobs, was employed by a man on Tuesday, and was supposed work for the same man on Wednesday. Seals did not answer the door Wednesday morning.
The small house where Seals lived alone is located well off Whitesburg Pike, behind the main residence and outbuildings. When Seals had not surfaced by Friday, the employer contacted a family member of the property owner. The family member used a key to open the door and found Seals dead around 2:30 p.m., according to Brooks.
Shortly thereafter, Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin asked for TBI assistance.
“There is nothing at this time to indicate that there would have been foul play,” the sheriff said Saturday evening. “He had money on him. There were things of value left behind.”