Murder in Smith County

An East Texas minister found his wife dead in their home Monday evening, the victim of an apparent murder. The news is sending shock waves through a congregation in Troup.

   Shortly before 6:00 p.m., authorities say pastor Mike Tabb found his wife murdered in their home on Virginia street. It's located directly behind the First Methodist Church in Troup.

   Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith has confirmed the woman is the wife of the First Methodist preacher. According to investigators, Marla Tabb, believed to be in her thirties, died of blunt force trauma and there did appear to be a struggle inside the house.

   Troup police closed off nearby streets and brought in crime scene investigators. Police say their investigation could continue long into the night. Captain Mike Lusk with the Smith County Sheriff's Department said, "We are in the process of doing our crime scene investigation. Also a neighborhood canvas, we have a squad of investigators that are working hand in hand with the troop police department."

Police say they have no immediate suspects. Church members told us the Tabbs have two young children. They say the Tabbs have only been with the church for about two months.