Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Friend's Betrayal: The Murder of Tammy Epperson

Zeroing in on the Suspect

Detectives checked the Ballington's log. Troy Powell was the last person logged in but didn't log out. A security guard recalled Powell leaving the building unescorted. When asked where Tammy was, Powell replied, "She's resting."

Simms said he paged Tammy after church the day before and she didn't call back, which seemed odd. So he drove by her house and saw Powell's red pickup truck parked outside. An uneasy feeling settled in. Simms wasn't allowed into the Ballington because he had started using drugs again. So, there was nothing he could do but keep trying to reach Tammy.

The next morning he drove to her place of work, but she wasn't there. That's when he called Todd, a mutual friend of Powell's, and asked him if he had heard anything.

It seems that Tammy was at church Sunday afternoon, bought a Bible and was given a ride home by Powell. She permitted him to go up to her apartment, logging him in at the front desk.

"He was stalking her, but she was still trying to be nice to him and help him get off drugs. That was the type of person she was. A bit naive," Detective Barr said.