In July the body of Ericka Megan Sharpton was found burning in a grassy area near a road in rural Tennessee. She had been beaten to death before being set ablaze in such a fashion, seeming like the perp was trying to make a statement. It's been several weeks and it's only been a recent detail that officials are working on an eventual arrest of the prime suspect -- whose identity is not being made public. It's gotten to the point that the mother of the slain nursing student is complaining that her family has been approached by the man in a threatening manner. That's not all; even the sheriff in the area "worries about public safety."
Sheriff Fuller left a lot open to interpretation when he said the following:
"Our concern is, in the person of interest we're dealing with, is that there could be some other crimes. It is a real concern, indeed."
Does this mean he is worried that other crimes will be committed (of a violent nature) if the suspect's name is released? Or does he mean that he is worried that there are other victims similar to Ericka Megan Sharpton?
The sheriff should consider clarifying on his earlier comments about worrying "about public safety." Is he implying that the public isn't safe with this suspect being on the loose and then threatened with his name being made public? Is he implying that there are several people in danger because of this guy?
If the prime suspect in the slaying of this young woman is a danger to more than just the current victim, he really shouldn't be free. It's clear that investigators are trying to gather enough hard, credible evidence against their suspect so as to have an airtight prosecution, but this unnamed person has already been deemed the prime suspect, so it's obvious that he's their guy. Leaving him to pose a potential risk on others is reckless.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelsea directly.