NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man is facing charges after bringing the body of his dead mother wrapped in a tarp to the Nashville VA Medical Center, according to an arrest warrant from police.
Thomas Henshall, 37, brought his mother’s body to the hospital at 5:19 p.m. Saturday, the warrant said. It was reportedly wrapped in a tarp in the back of his truck. Medics arrived on scene and confirmed the woman was dead.
Henshall was with his girlfriend, police say, and he stated that his mother had committed suicide. Both Henshall and his girlfriend were taken to police headquarters where they both waived their rights and spoke with homicide detectives.
Henshall’s girlfriend told detectives he called her on Friday, and then again on Saturday, sounding extremely distraught. The warrant said he then went to his girlfriend’s home, told her that he had found his mother in the woods, that she was dead and they needed to take her somewhere.
Henshall told his girlfriend his mother was in the back of his truck and he had been with her for a long time. The warrant said he and his girlfriend both stopped for food, gas and coffee before driving to the VA Medical Center in Chattanooga, realizing it was closed.
They then took the victim’s body across state lines, passing multiple hospitals and police precincts, police said, before driving to the Nashville VA Medical Center, where they told hospital staff that the victim had committed suicide, according to the warrant.
The warrant said Henshall failed to report discovering his mother’s body. It also said he touched, altered, and concealed the victim’s body, clothing and personal effects.
During an interview with detectives, Henshall said he was right next to the victim when she shot herself. However, he had told his girlfriend that he discovered his mother in the woods.
Henshall said he had secured the gun in his RV. He told investigators his RV was somewhere in the woods near a lake in Chattanooga and would not give any other details.
When asked about his cellphone, Henshall said he left it in Chattanooga. Detectives think this is false because he had sent an email to his girlfriend from his cellphone while he was with her earlier in the day. Detectives listened to the recording attached to the email in which the victim can be heard saying, “He’s not accountable for anything. He’s agreed to put me out of my misery.”
When asked how the victim obtained the gun, Henshall invoked his Miranda rights.
Henshall is being charged with tampering with evidence, removing or disturbing a body, and failure to report the discovery of a dead body based on the facts presented.