On Tuesday, May 25, Portland Police Detectives were following up on a referral from The Tennessee Department of Adult Protective Services (APS). The investigation led to a home in the 800 block of South Broadway in Portland.
According to the affidavit, Doris Atchison, 69, resided at the home with her son, Brian Atchison, 44. The APS referral stated that the reporting party had not heard from Ms. Atchison since around March of 2020. The party had grown concerned about her welfare.
The detectives made contact with Mr. Atchison at the home, and he consented for officers to enter the residence to check for his mother. However, he told them that she was out of town.
Officers entered the residence and found it to be in disarray. While checking a back bedroom, the officers discovered what appeared to be a deceased individual, partially concealed with clothing and other items, all of which had been there for an extended period of time. The deceased was found to be Ms. Atchison.
Detectives then began a death investigation. Brian Atchison was questioned and provided very little information about the circumstances in question, but when interviewed on a later date, he made statements implicating himself in his mother’s death.
Mr. Atchison was initially charged with abuse of a corpse and two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, as a result of the two deceased cats that were also found at the scene.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted in the processing of the crime scene.
The body was sent for an autopsy. The preliminary findings were consistent with a homicide. Mr. Atchison’s statements were confirmed by the autopsy findings. As a result, an additional charge of first-degree murder was added.
He is currently being housed at the Sumner County Jail, with no bond. On Wednesday, June 9, he will appear in Sumner County General Sessions Court.