(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Police in Nashville, Tennessee, continue to look for a man who they say was captured on surveillance video breaking into parked cars before they say he fatally stabbed a young woman in her apartment in what authorities called “a very rare, random act of violence.”
Authorities said Tiffany Ferguson, 23, was found with stab wounds in her apartment at 5:40 a.m. Thursday.
“The police and fire departments responded to a 911 call placed at 5:41 a.m. by Ferguson’s roommate, who awakened to her screams. When the roommate exited her bedroom, she saw the front door to the apartment open. She then found Ferguson in her separate bedroom suffering from stab wounds,” police said in the news release.
Police said surveillance video from the apartment building showed a man pulling on the door handles of parked cars around 5 a.m.
“He is then thought to have also checked for unlocked apartment doors. He entered Ferguson’s apartment through what was believed to have been an unlocked door and began looking for valuables. He exited the apartment at least once with items. He put them down outside before reentering. The attack on Ferguson is believed to have come during his reentry,” police said.
“At this juncture we believe that this man found the apartment door to this particular unit open — there were no signs of forced entry — went inside and had some type of confrontation with the victim and stabbed her,” police spokesman Don Aaron said Thursday during a news conference.
Aaron said they’d since recovered items from Ferguson’s apartment in the immediate vicinity as well as a “potential weapon.”
He would only say that the weapon was a “very sharp object” and that investigators were waiting to learn more from Ferguson’s autopsy.
“From what we can tell at this moment, this does appear to be a random act,” Aaron said during a news conference Thursday.
Molly Cox, 32, Ferguson’s sister, said Ferguson had attended nursing school in Alabama and had lived in the apartment for a little less than a year. Ferguson was a nurse in the intensive-care unit at a local Nashville hospital.
Cox said that Ferguson had traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip and would give food and money to the homeless people around her apartment building. Cox said authorities were not giving the family a lot of information.
“I think she had been out with some coworkers and then came home,” Cox said about Ferguson. “We understand that she got home and later on that morning her roommate heard a scream and the front door was open and they found her in the bed.”
Cox said that apparently the apartment’s door “had been not closing great.”
“Maybe when Tiffany came in, it was left unlocked and that’s how he got in,” she said.
Cox said the family did not recognize the man on the video.
“I just want everyone to know that she [Ferguson] had a good heart and she was young and she was beautiful and she deserved better than what she got,” she said. “She just had so many dreams and wanted to do so much.”
Police described the man as wearing a zipped hoodie sweatshirt, boots and ripped blue jeans, with tears in the back knee and thigh area.
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