Selmer Man's Death Deemed Suspicious

Ben Rainwater

SELMER, Tenn. - A Selmer neighborhood is searching for answers after a beloved community member, Robert Irons, suffered what police said was a suspicious death.

Police said Irons' wife called neighbor Seleta Massengill on October 10 after she could not contact her husband while out of town in Nashville. When the neighbor went to check on him, Mr. Irons did not answer the door.

"When I couldn't get him to the door after a few knocks and knocking on the window, it kind of alarmed me," Massengill said. "His mail had piled up in the mailbox. We kind of knew something was wrong."

Massengill gained entry to the home using a spare key, but called police when she found Irons.

"When the police officers got there, they discovered him laying down in the hallway face down," Lt. Roger Rickman with the Selmer Police Department said.

Doctors believe Irons suffered a stroke, but they are not sure what caused the medical issue or the bruising that was found on his face. So when the 66-year-old died Wednesday, police classified the death as suspicious.

"We don't know whether the stroke that he had made him fall and hit the floor and caused the bruising, or if this was some type of criminal act where someone came in and actually beat Mr. Irons," Lt. Rickman said.

Neighbors said at this point they have more questions then answers, and just want to find closure in Mr. Irons' death.

"If anything did happen that was out of the ordinary, we would like to know," Massengill said. " But I feel and hope that it is not so. It's not true."

Irons' body has been taken to the medical examiner's office in Memphis for an autopsy. Police said if it is determined that Irons did not die from natural causes, then his death would become a homicide investigation.


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