Murder mystery in Rockwood?

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Woman found dead in muddy mess behind mother’s house on Tedder Street

By Cindy Simpson

The body of Janice Pugh Tollett of Rockwood was found outside her mother’s home at 404 Tedder St. Sunday.

“They found her lying back there behind the house,” said Ralph Hedrick, her cousin. “Nobody knows how she got back there. You can tell there had been a lot of movement. There was mud on the cars. She was lying in a mud hole.”

Hedrick said an autopsy is being done on Tollett, whose home was across the street from where she was found.

Tollett’s live-in boyfriend, Ronald Lewis Underwood, 54, was charged with aggravated assault for attacking her brother, Eddie Pugh.

He’d previously threatened another man in October who was at the camper Eddie Pugh lives in behind his mother’s home.

Rockwood Police Sgt. Jason Halliburton reported he was called to the home in reference to the body when he was told by Eddie Glen Pugh that Underwood had “pulled a knife on him and cut his arm with it. Mr. Pugh did have a superficial cut on his right forearm area that he stated was a result of the knife attack.”

Halliburton said Underwood did have a knife.

Pugh said he was asleep in the camper at the back of 404 Tedder St. when Underwood went in, saying he was going to kill him.

“Mr. Pugh had to fight back in what he stated was in defense of his life,” wrote Halliburton.

Underwood “stated because he was angry over finding his girlfriend deceased, and he thought her brother, Mr. Pugh, was the reason she had died, so he was going to kill him for it,” Halliburton reported.

Hedrick said Underwood was generally a nice guy.