New Details Emerge in Rockwood Murder Case

Recent revelations in the case of the Athens woman accused of murdering her mother shed light on the events leading up to the tragic incident that occurred in April in Rockwood. Marie Hefner, 50, was taken into custody on April 25 after an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Roane County Sheriff’s Office implicated her in the death of her mother, 75-year-old Bertha Lodewegen. Hefner, who was initially held in jail, has since been released on bond.

According to documents obtained by authorities, Hefner recounted her last interaction with her mother at their Circle Drive residence in Rockwood on April 20. Hefner stated that she had arrived in her Silver Jeep at approximately 9:30 a.m. with plans to take her mother to breakfast at MeMe’s Restaurant followed by grocery shopping at Kroger.

Investigators uncovered receipts from MeMe’s and Kroger, both dated April 20, near Lodewegen’s wallet, with timestamps indicating Hefner’s account of the morning’s events.

Surveillance footage from a neighboring residence on April 20 further corroborated certain aspects of Hefner’s testimony. The video captured Hefner’s Silver Jeep arriving at 109 Circle Drive around 9:26 a.m. and departing around 9:36 a.m. The Jeep returned at approximately 12:03 p.m., with an individual observed unloading bags before departing again around 1:34 p.m.

Notably, the security logs from Lodewegen’s phone revealed a series of concerning events within the residence during the time frame in question. Between 9:34 a.m. and 12:04 p.m., no activity was recorded, but at 12:04 p.m., a side door was opened, followed by movement in the dining room. Subsequent alerts included a glass break at 12:18 p.m., the opening and closing of the basement door at 1:02 p.m., and another glass break in the basement at 1:25 p.m. The security logs remained dormant until the following day, when a witness discovered the scene and contacted emergency services.

Hefner was apprehended by the Roane County Sheriff’s Office on April 25 and charged with first-degree murder. Following her release on bond, she is required to wear an ankle bracelet as a condition. Hefner opted to waive her right to a preliminary hearing and is scheduled to appear in court on July 2 at 9 a.m., with her case anticipated to go before the next Roane County Grand Jury in June.

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