Man pleads guilty to murdering wife, disposing of body in Greenb - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Man pleads guilty to murdering wife, disposing of body in Greenbrier Co.

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Thomas Neal Tait Thomas Neal Tait
Karen Tait Karen Tait

LEWISBURG, W. VA (WVVA)-- 52 year old Thomas Tait of Waynesboro, VA pleaded guilty Monday morning to killing his wife, Karen Tait.

Police said the crime happened between August 2002 and September 2002.

Karen was found dead in the Greenbrier State Forest back in September 2002. She had been missing for years, but was not reported so until 2011. She was a native of the Philippines.

Thomas Tait told investigators when initially questioned about her disappearance that he had presumed she had returned to the Philippines to be with family.

He was charged with her murder in November 2012. 

View WVVA.com's previous reports on this case 

Tait pleaded guilty Monday to killing his wife, and he was immediately sentenced to 30 years in a Virginia prison.

He has another case pending back in Virginia over 20 counts of possession of child pornography. He was convicted in July 2012 is awaiting sentencing there.

Police shared some new details on this case with WVVA.

Lieutenant V. Deeds, who has been an investigator in the case since Karen Tait's body was discovered in 2002, told WVVA Monday that Thomas Tait suffocated Karen. Although his motive can not be clear, Deeds revealed it was a domestic incident.

The Taits had no connection to Greenbrier County, where Karen's body was found-- counties away from Waynesboro, Virginia where the family lived.

"He wanted to find the best place where he could dispose of the body, that wasn't going to easily link [the crime] back to him," said Deeds. "Greenbrier County was easy for him to get to and far enough away that he did a good job of hiding it for a while."

West Virginia police worked through state lines, with Virginia police and other agencies, to investigate the crime.

"This case was difficult because we had different jurisdictions," he said.

Deeds added that for law enforcement as well as Karen Tait's family, the case has wrapped up favorably.

"It's come to a good conclusion," said Deeds. "It's fair. He took Mrs. Tait's life and we gave the family some closure and at least they can feel there's been some justice done."

Police were first led to Thomas Tait when they attempted to contact Karen for another case they were working on. When they were unable to find any trace of her, they became suspicious.

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