Tools

Charges Filed in Hardin County Murder

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn.- After officially identifying the body of a woman who was found hidden in the closet of her own home back in March, Hardin County deputies have now charged her boyfriend with her murder.

Investigators said they found Deborah Kiddy, 52, wrapped up in a tarp with a gun shot wound to her head. Her body had been hidden in a closet of her own home. Officers found her on March 20. Family members reported her missing March 18, after they hadn't seen or heard from her for more than a week. According to the medical examiner, she was murdered some time around March 9th.

Kiddy's live-in boyfriend, Andrew James Rivera, is charged with first degree murder. Investigators said Rivera was pulled over by a state trooper on March 14, where he was found with cuts to his neck. Sheriff Sammy Davidson said Rivera originally told authorities that he was attacked, then later confessed to cutting his own throat with a pocket knife.

"As he approached the vehicle and opened the driver door he (Rivera) had his hand up to his throat and blood was coming from his throat," said Sheriff Davidson. "The first instinct of the officer even the night of the14th was something else had happened to cause him to do something like that."

Investigators said it was Rivera's behavior during the 11 days between when Kiddy was murdered and when her body was found that proved to deputies her murder was premeditated. On March 11th, officers said Rivera called Kiddy's daughter to say her mother had left during the night and wasn't returning.

Just four days after Kiddy was believed to have been killed, Rivera was captured on Walmart surveillance cameras buying tarp, duck tape and razor blades. Investigators also discovered that Rivera had sold a Ruger .22 caliber revolver pistol believed to be the murder weapon to another individual in close proximity to the time of her death.

"It's horrifying to see how everything was laid out how he disposed or tried to get rid of the body. It's horrifying it really is because in a short relationship there could have been other answers," said Sheriff Davidson.

Investigators said Rivera also drove the victim's car down to Jasper Alabama where he abandoned the vehicle on a car lot then stole a truck. Officers said he was driving that truck when a state trooper pulled him over.

Family members said Kiddy was planning to leave Rivera to be closer to her grandchildren in Texas. Deputies said Rivera is being held in lieu of $1 million dollars bond.