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Couple Stabs Woman to Death in Smith County-Mikayla Lewis

SMITH COUNTY, Tenn.--The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the murder of Carthage woman. Dawn Duke was found stabbed to death next to Thomas Ridge Road two days ago in Pleasant Shade.

Pleasant Shade resident, Amanda Padgett said, " It's normally very peaceful and quiet."

It's hard for some Pleasant Shade residents to be a peace after the murder of 29-year-old, Dawn Duke.

Padgett said, " You don't get something this tragic around here usually."  

Padgett is a close family friend of the victim and says Duke was a mother of three children.

Padgett explained, " The family is taking it really  hard, and the kids it will definitely be hard on them."

Duke was found dead of multiple stab wounds, Friday around 3 P.M. according to the TBI.  The Smith County Sheriff believes Duke was killed around midnight on Thursday.

Sheriff Steve Hopper said, " It's hard on everybody that responded: the emergency services personnel, the deputies and everybody involved... You never get used to anything like this."

According to the TBI, 38-year-old Melinda Bush, and 34-year-old Stephone Berry were arrested for Duke's murder.

Sheriff Hopper added, "We want everybody to know  that there is not a murderer running around here on the loose. "

Both suspects are a couple and from Pleasant Shade.

Padgett said, " For them people to just walk among us in this community to have been capable to do something like that is just awful . I just cannot believe it."

The sheriff says Melinda Bush's family member found Duke's body, while he working on the property on Friday.

Sheriff Hopper added, "The other family that's involved also live here in the county and it's hard on both sides. "

Bush and Berry were reportedly friends with Duke, according to TBI.

Padgett says, "If they did it, if they was guilty of it, if they confessed then they deserve to go to jail at least for the rest of their lives if not get the death penalty for it. She did not deserve to die that way."

Bush and Stephone are booked into Smith County jail and were charged with one count each of first degree murder.