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Couple Charged With Murder After Cops Find Woman's Mutilated Body In Their Freezer

Couple charged with murder, stuffed woman's corpse in freezer

Be careful who you stay with.

A Tennessee couple was charged with the murder of Jennifer Gail Paxton, whom they had reportedly offered a safe place to stay several months ago, after the woman’s body was found dismembered in a freezer on August 6.

According to local reports, Rebecca Elizabeth Dishman and Sean Finnegan (pictured above) are accused of kidnapping, torturing, and sexually assaulting the 36-year-old, who was said to be homeless, before murdering her. Authorities found Paxton’s body on Wednesday during a search of the Oak Ridge home after responding to reports of a homicide at the property.

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They have both been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Finnegan, 52, also reportedly faces aggravated rape and abuse of a corpse charges, while Dishman, 22, faces aggravated sexual battery and tampering with evidence charges.

[Warning: graphic details ahead.]

Police say the couple lured Paxton to the home in December 2019 by promising her a safe place to stay. But once she arrived, the couple allegedly held Paxton against her will, then tortured and sexually assaulted her before they killed her.

According to arrest warrants, the hostage was allegedly chained to a bed in the home and shackled with a dog collar, while her arms were bound with zip ties. The couple allegedly used baseball bats to beat Paxton into submission, and allegedly denied her medical care and food. Finnegan and Dishman also raped Paxton before strangling her to death, police say.

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Officials say the couple confessed to the crimes, admitting to cutting off Paxton’s body parts — including her nose and breasts — and breaking her ligaments and bones to make her body fit into the freezer. 

Once Finnegan realized Paxton’s death would be investigated, he allegedly moved the body under his bed. Meanwhile, Dishman tried to hide evidence of the alleged murder by using “bleach and a Swiffer” in the living room, bedroom, and bathroom to clean up the blood, according to police.

The couple’s neighbors were reportedly stunned by the news. Mahogany Pekoc, who has lived nearby and been a close friend of Dishman’s for three years, told ABC that she was shocked by the grisly murder. She remembered witnessing police remove evidence from the couple’s home before arresting Finnegan, recalling:

“It took them about an hour to bring him out, and when they brought him out he had no expression. He would just stare. There was no anger, no sadness, no happiness. He would just stare and stare. It was just creepy.”

So terrifying. At least police were tipped off before the couple was able to strike again.

[Image via Anderson County Sheriff’s Office]

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Aug 11, 2020 15:19pm PDT