KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Two sisters who were found bound and strangled were disabled by muscular dystrophy and could not have defended themselves from an attacker, their stepfather said.
Detectives searched Wednesday for clues to the slaying of Suzanne Williams, 40, and Patricia Williams, 37, who were found dead Tuesday in their apartment.
The sisters contracted muscular dystrophy while in their 20s, said Arthur Carey, their stepfather. Both wore leg braces and would not have been able to defend themselves.
'They had very limited power in their arms and legs,' said Carey, who lives with the victims' mother in the same apartment complex and checks on them regularly.
Sheriff's department spokesman Art Miller said the sisters were last seen alive by their parents Monday at about 4 p.m.
Suzanne Williams was found lying on her bedroom floor, 'strangled with a window sash. A housecoat belt was used to gag her,' Miller said.
Patricia Williams, found on her bed, was bound with a variety of clothing items and apparently was strangled with shoelaces, Miller said.
Investigators found no signs of forced entry into the apartment, but said several televisions, a video cassette recorder, a compact disc player and a microwave oven were missing, as was Suzanne Williams' blue 1987 Dodge Aries K car.
Investigators said one of the victims was nude, but declined to comment on whether either woman had been sexually assaulted or whether they may have known their assailant.