Karen Louise Shahan murdered: Alabama pastor's wife and member of church choir is found brutally murdered on couch in family home
- Karen Louise Shahan, 52, was found dead at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday after she failed to show up to work
- Victim is married to Reverend Richard Shahan of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
- Shahan's husband was away visiting the couple's son when the grandmother was killed
- Police have not divulged how Shahan died but said it was clear she had been murdered
- No suspects have been identified and police said they didn't know whether the slaying was a 'random burglary gone bad' or something more sinister
By Helen Pow
PUBLISHED: 14:34 EST, 25 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:05 EST, 25 July 2013
An Alabama pastor's wife has been found brutally murdered on the couch of the family's home.
Karen Louise Shahan, 52, who was married to Reverend Richard Shahan of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, was discovered lifeless at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday after she failed to show up to work.
Police have not divulged how the grandmother, who for years sang in the church choir, was killed but said it was clear she had been murdered and the Homewood house was in 'disarray' when officers arrived.
Crime scene: Karen Louise Shahan, 52, was murdered at her Homewood, Alabama house, pictured, earlier this week
Detectives have been scouring the property for clues. Shahan's husband was in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, visiting one of the couple's two sons when the horrific slaying took place, family friends said.
The man, who is Children and Families pastor and Facilities Director, at the church, has been interviewed by police, who said they have no suspects in custody or motives in the murder.
Husband: Shahan was married to Reverend Richard Shahan, pictured, a pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham
'We don't know if this is random, a burglary gone bad or what,' Homewood police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Didcoct told AL.com.
'We just don't know.'
Shahan's co-workers at Hobby Lobby in Wildwood notified police after the woman failed to show up for work on Tuesday morning.
Church members gathered to remember Shahan on Wednesday night for their weekly dinner and Bible study.
Bill Gladden, a church member and former attorney who works with the church on legal issues, described the woman as 'a lovely person.'
On Thursday, First Baptist Church of Birmingham released a statement saying they were 'saddened to announce' the death of the long-time church member, who also sang in the church choir.
A spokesman for Shahan's employer, Hobby Lobby, said the company was also 'deeply saddened by the loss.'
'Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family,' Parker said, according to AL.com.
The Mayor of Homewood said the brutal murder of the woman who is survived by her husband, two sons, Kyle and Colin, and two grandchildren, had shaken the usually peaceful area.
'The City of Homewood has been blessed for situations like this to be the exception and not the norm,' Scott McBrayer told AL.com.
Investigation: Investigators carried bags of evidence from the house as they continued to scour the property on Thursday
'As with any other senseless act of violence, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family so deeply affected.'
The street where Shahan was killed is quiet but not particularly close-knit because most residents rend rather than own their homes, neighbors said.
Rachel Adkins, who lives down the road from the crime scene, said she was terrified after the attack and is getting an alarm system installed.
'I don't feel safe. No, not at all,' Adkins told AL.com. 'Hopefully we can get some answers soon, to know whether it was random or not.'
She added: 'The actual violence of a murder happening just steps from my house is terrifying,'' she said. "My husband was out of town then as well, so there's a 50/50 chance that if it was random, it could have been my house. I'm sad for the family. It's a terrible thing that happened.'
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