Person detained then released in teacher murder investigation

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Coffee County (WTVY)-- A person of interest was detained several hours Monday then released after questioned about the murder of an Enterprise school teacher. The body of Sara Starr was discovered early in the day in the carport area of her Coffee County home. She had been shot in the head, apparently twice.

Authorities discuss the murder of school teacher Sara Starr in this November 28, 2017 photo. Pictured (L-R) are Coffee County Sheriff Dave Sutton, Coffee County District Attorney Tom Anderson, and Coffee County Chief Deputy R.W. Whitworth.

“I can confirm that multiple search warrants were obtained, and we have a person of interest but can’t go into details as to not compromise the investigation,” Coffee County District Attorney Tom Anderson said during an Tuesday press conference. The name of the potential suspect wasn’t made public and Anderson said other avenues are also being pursued.

The initial call to authorities indicated Starr had committed suicide, but when no gun was found at the scene, the case quickly turned into a murder investigation, Anderson said. The body was found by co-workers who went to her home along County Road 647 after Starr failed to report for work Monday morning. Autopsy results are pending.

Starr, 36, was a fourth-grade teacher at Harrand Creek Elementary School.

“We are deeply saddened that we, all of sudden, lost one of our school family,” Enterprise Superintendent Greg Faught reacted. He called Starr a teacher who set an example for those in the school system. Grief counseling was made available to faculty and students who need help coping.

Starr had four children---two sets of twins ages 12 and 6---who attended Enterprise public schools. Anderson said a hearing regarding their care was scheduled Tuesday afternoon. He wouldn’t elaborate. Juvenile court proceedings and records involving such matters are not public record.

The circumstances of Starr’s death took an emotional toll on many including deputies assigned to the case. “It hits the soft spot in every officer when a child loses a parent,” Coffee County Sheriff Dave Sutton said. The Department of Human Resources reportedly told the children of their mother’s death.

Starr, who moved to the area from Kansas about 10 years ago, divorced in July and lived in a former parsonage of the church she attended.