According to a Tuesday morning press release from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, Melissa Mingle, 37, died in the hospital on Monday afternoon. Her former boyfriend, Nathaniel White-Young, 30, is now charged with first-degree murder.
On Sunday afternoon, neighbors of Mingle spotted her lying in the yard of her home on Fordtown Road. Responding officers found her unconscious but breathing and suffering a severe head injury and possibly broken bones. She was transported from the scene by EMS for treatment at the hospital.
White-Young had reportedly left prior to the arrival of police, but not before setting fire to a portion of Mingle's home. And missing from the residence was Mingle's child that White-Young had fathered. Police say they prepared to issue an Amber Alert for the boy, but shortly before it was sent out White-Young dropped him off at another location.
During investigation of the case, detectives learned White-Young could be headed to Hamblen County. Law enforcement there located and apprehended White-Young on Monday morning.
White-Young, address listed as C Street in Kingsport, was originally charged with attempted murder and arson. With Mingle's death he is now facing a count of first-degree murder.
Police are currently declining to comment on specifics in the case, including possible motives and any events immediately preceding Sunday’s incident.
"As this is an ongoing investigation, no further information relating to the case can be released at this time," reads a statement from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. "Our investigators have been in constant communication with District Attorney General Barry Staubus and his staff regarding the case.”
Mingle's death is at least the third this year in Sullivan County that appears linked to domestic violence.
— In January, Daniel Walsh, 31, allegedly barged into his ex-girlfriend's Bloomingdale home, 1901 Latimer St. Police say he found the woman with another man, Joshua Moyers, 33, and fatally shot him.
— In February, Harry Weaver, 63, reportedly entered the Colonial Heights dentist office where his estranged wife worked. Kelly Weaver, 52, was allegedly shot and killed by Weaver, who was then shot and detained by a patient with a carry permit.
Other recent arrests and convictions throughout the area have also centered around domestic violence.
— In September, Gray resident Todd Darrell Briggs, 35, was indicted for allegedly setting his wife on fire and inflicting severe burns to her head, arms and torso.
— This past June in Hawkins County, Charles Timothy Gray, 26, pleaded guilty to the 2017 murder of Big Stone Gap resident Callie Ison. According to prosecutors, at the time of her death Ison had been in a relationship with Gray for less than a month.
— Sammy R. Sandidge, 67, pleaded guilty to murder in April. Nine months earlier in Kingsport, he used an oxygen tank to fatally bludgeon his girlfriend, Mary A Danner, 68. He then stayed in their apartment with her body for several days.
— Last October, Jason Scott Borders, 43, pleaded guilty in Scott County to the murder of his wife, Eva Marie Borders. After strangling her in their home, he reportedly fled and left her body with an unattended child.