Neighbors react after Union City man reportedly beaten to death


UNION CITY, Tenn. — Neighbors are shaken as police investigate what they are calling a possible homicide after a man was reportedly found dead of apparent blunt-force trauma at his apartment.

“I think they took the body about 6:30, because I was concerned. I was like well, that was a homicide,” Rosemarie Semiklose, a neighbor of the deceased man, said. “The man is dead. When Deadrick came out, I said ‘what happened?’ And he said they beat him to death.”

Union City police received a call around 2 p.m. Thursday that James Elkins was unresponsive in his apartment. When police arrived on the scene, medics informed them that he was already dead. One neighbor said his daughter was the one who discovered the body.

“I heard yesterday that my daughter went over there, of course she knew him, and the guy next to here there, the black guy, he called 911. I heard that he was beaten,” Paul Riley, Elkins’ neighbor, said.

People who knew Elkins said he was very kind and that they can’t imagine who would have done this to him.

“As far as I knew he was a fine fellow. And I never know him to bother nobody,” Riley said. “And his brother down here or his daddy, same kind of people.”

Police say Elkins died from blunt-force trauma to the head and that his body also showed signs of being beaten. His body was taken to Memphis for an autopsy.

Police are still investigating. Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News as more information becomes available.

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