TBI Arrests Woman In Memphis Cab Driver Murder

By Austin Lewis | alewis@localmemphis.com

Published 02/15 2014 09:35PM

Updated 02/17 2014 02:55PM

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Fayette County Sheriff's department arrested an Arlington-woman Friday evening for murder and robbery in the death of a Memphis cab driver.

19-year-old Tanuja Rivers has been charged with one count of felony first degree murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery. Investigators say they are still trying to determine her motive and exact circumstances. She is being held at the Fayette County on a $1 million dollar bond.

Local 24 spoke with Bobby Assemu, the brother of Zewdneh Assemu, and Abonesh Degefaw, the mother about the arrest.

"The arrest definitely brought some peace and comfort to the family but we still want to know what happened the details if somebody is behind like I said it's really hard to believe that this was just a robbery," said Bobby Assemu.

The family said they don't recognize Rivers. They also didn't expect Assemu's killer would be a woman.

"I thought it was a man, a male, I didn't expect it could be a female and when he told me that I wasn't sure but he went ahead and explained what happened a little bit, not the details like I said he said they are still investigating," said Assemu.

The Assemu family says they are grateful to the TBI for all that they have done, but still have a lot of questions about what happened that night.

"We want to know what happened that day, was it just a robbery which is very hard to believe from what we have heard, she killed him, maybe they killed him and dragged his body away from his cab so all of that if somebody is behind all of this we still want to know the whole details," said Bobby Assemu.

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