Girl, 12, Says She Watched Dad Mutilate Mom, Was Forced to Help Dump Body

A 12-year-old girl told police her father, James Hawkins, forced her to help dump her mother's body in DeSoto County in Tennessee. Hawkins is charged with killing and dismembering Charlene Gaither, MyFOXMemphis reports.

Hawkins' daughter also told investigators that she witnessed her father killing her mother. A police affidavit says the girl, whose name was not released, claimed she "watched dad kill mom."

Memphis police say Gaither's body was found decapitated and dismembered in northern Mississippi.

James Hawkins was first charged Monday morning with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and filing a false report. Later on Monday police said they were charging him with first-degree murder.

The woman was identified Monday as Charlene Gaither of Memphis. Her body, without a head, hands or feet, was found Thursday in DeSoto County.

Police say Hawkins was Gaither's live-in boyfriend. He denied killing her but said he was present when she died. Police say he admitted to decapitating and dismembering the woman and dumping her body.

Click here to read more on this story at

The Associated Press contributed to this report.