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Friends remember woman and her father after they were found dead in Helena; gofundme set up for family

New information about Helena homicide victims
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 10:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 3:13 PM CST
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HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - Helena Police are conducting a double homicide investigation after two people were found dead in a home on Wednesday afternoon.

The Shelby County Coroner identified the victims as 40-year-old Sharon Tarwater Whited and 75-year-old Chester E. Tarwater Jr.

They were father and daughter.

According to Oversoul Brewing, a gofundme has been set up in support of the family.

As most you you know our community has suffered a great loss this past week. We have had multiple people reach out...

Posted by Oversoul Brewing. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022

“She was a smart, funny, and loving person,” Helena resident and family friend Linda Elliot said. “Her and her family were closer than any family I think I’ve ever encountered. There wasn’t anything that her dad wouldn’t do for her. He was just kind of like the rock in the family.”

Police and the Shelby County Coroner have not released exactly how the father and daughter died, but Helena police say foul play is involved. They also said it is believed to be domestic related.

“I can’t imagine what she had to endure,” Elliot said. “I can’t imagine how hard it was on her dad, because I just have a funny feeling that they were fighting back to whoever this was.”

Elliot knew Sharon for years. She was Sharon’s former boss, but said they had more of a friendship and remained friends until she died.

“I immediately fell in love with her,” Elliot said. “As a friend, not just as an employee. We all stayed in contact with one another just to make sure we were all okay.”

But, Elliot says Sharon was more than just a good friend. She was a mother to two daughters and had adopted her two nephews in 2016 after her brother’s death.

“She’s had four children and she loved them all,” Elliot said. “Nothing came between her and the girls. She was there in everything at the school, she was there. In everything that they wanted to do. She always let them know how much they were loved.”

Family members who declined on camera interviews told WBRC it was her 12-year-old nephew that found her and his grandfather, Chester, on the day of the murder.

“I can’t imagine what the girls or the boys are going through,” Elliot said.

“I’m angry,” Elliot said. “And extremely sad. No way in this world did she deserve this.”

Authorities said they do not believe this was a random act. Police also said they’ve spoken with several neighbors and other family members as well in this investigation.

Helena Police have identified a person of interest in this investigation as 41-year-old John Peyton Scott III.

Police said Scott lived in the residence and was in a relationship with Sharon, but they do not believe he is a threat to the public. Officers said Scott may have information about the deaths.

Helena Police said they believe he is driving a red 2020 Ford Eco Sport and are asking anyone with information on his location to give them a call.

The case is being investigated by the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force.

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