Cold case arrest: Husband shoots wife dead, lights house on fire, collects insurance money [Police]

A Georgia man is behind bars for the murder of his wife, five years after authorities found her charred remains inside a Coffee County home she shared with her husband.

Valdosta Today reports that Coffee County Sheriff’s deputies and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested Timothy Larue Sheffield on December 21, and charged him with murdering his wife, Edith Sheffield, 49. The couple had been married 29 years when she died.

According to court documents, a fire broke out at the couple’s home on January 18, 2013, located off of Bowens Mill Road in Broxton, Georgia. After firefighters put the fire out, authorities found Edith’s body inside. Her body was taken to the GBI Medical examiner’s office, where her official cause of death was ruled a homicide after investigators determined she’d been shot numerous times, including two shots to her head.

Investigators also determined that arson caused the fire. Authorities questioned Sheffield but didn’t have enough evidence previously to make an arrest.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Sheffield told police he was on his way home on the night in question when a neighbor called his cellphone and told him his house was on fire. Sheffield has repeatedly claimed he had nothing to do with the fire and never harmed his wife.

Sheffield later filed a claim with State Farm Insurance, a claim that was denied after the agency’s attorneys allegedly blamed Sheffield for deliberately setting his house on fire. When State Farm refused to pay his claim, Sheffield sued and won. In July 2016, a judge ordered State Farm to pay Sheffield $270,000 for damages to his home and motorcycle.

Mark Pro, of the GBI’s Douglas office, indicated that the agency interviewed others in connection to Edith’s death, but it was a “very short list.” Edith had never been in trouble legally and was remembered as a popular, well-liked mother in her community who spent her time working as a bank teller and going to church.

Investigators ruled out robbery since Edith’s jewelry was still on her, along with $1,500 cash.

According to a GBI press release, Sheffield has been been charged with murder, arson, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commision of a crime. He’s behind bars at the Coffee County jail without bail.

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[Feature Photo: Edith Sheffield/Handout]