Family speaks out about Breathitt County man found dead

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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Officials in Breathitt County are investigating a homicide after a body was found in a trailer.

The coroner tells us the body of Tommy Lee Smith, 46, was found on Highway 1110, near Buckhorn, before noon Saturday morning.

Family and friends say they have no idea who would want to kill Smith or why, but they say they're doing everything they can to find out those answers.

"I don't have anybody to grieve with," said Mildred Johnson, who is Smith's daughter.

Mildred Johnson, 21, is Smith's only child. His body was found in his home. With a bullet wound to his head, the coroner has labeled Smith's death as a homicide.

"I raised his head up, and I saw the big hole in his forehead," said Geraldine Turner.

Late Saturday morning, Geraldine Turner says her boyfriend found Smith slumped over in a chair in his trailer. Turner says her boyfriend ran to her for help. When she went to perform CPR on Smith, she realized it was too late.

"When I raised him up and saw that he had been shot, I mean, there's no way to explain it," said Turner.

"When you father is murdered, you can't really say he's resting in peace or anything else. Nobody knows what that feels like. I would have been so much happier if he would have just died of natural causes," said Mildred Johnson, who is the victim's only child.

Smith's family and friends say he loved playing corn hole and four-wheeling. They say he was always friends with everyone. Those who knew Smith say they have no idea who could have done this.

"So heartless how somebody can do anybody the way he was done," says Pamela Johnson, a family friend.

"He was just there anytime I needed him and for everyone else too," said Johnson.

Although there are no suspects at this time, Smith's family has vowed to find his killer.

"People have just got to the point where they don't care about people's lives," said Smith's daughter. "And I wish they would have just thought about my dad having a daughter and two grandkids that could have been raised up with him."

"If we've got to put a reward up, we will because whoever did this will not get away free," said Turner.

Smith's body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy. The coroner says a murder weapon was not found at the scene. Smith's funeral is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Deaton Funeral Home in Jackson.

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