Medical examiner says Fort Worth woman was strangled

Posted Thursday, Mar. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- A 43-year-old woman whose decomposing body was found hidden inside her garage in January -- almost two months after she had been reported missing -- died from ligature strangulation, the Tarrant County medical examiner's office has ruled.

The suspect in her slaying, Matthew William Woychik, 21, is accused of strangling Tammy Marie Bates with a belt or with his hands, according to court documents.

Woychik was arrested in Lee County, Miss., on Feb. 11 and charged with murder on Feb. 20. He remained in custody Wednesday.

Family members last heard from Bates on Nov. 16, when she mentioned she was letting a man stay in her house, which she rented, in exchange for helping with the bills.

Two days later, Woychik posted two videos on YouTube that had been taken inside Bates' living room. In the second video, in which Woychik rants about another woman, Bates' cellphone can be heard ringing unanswered in the background.

On Jan. 27, Bates' ex-boyfriend discovered her body wrapped in blankets in the garage of the house in the 9900 block of Lone Eagle Drive in west Fort Worth, family members have said.

In October, Woychik was arrested in Crestwood, Ill., on a bond forfeiture warrant in a misdemeanor domestic battery case involving the woman about whom he ranted in the second YouTube video.

He had been arrested initially in March after the woman told police that Woychik had begun strangling her after becoming upset that she was talking to another man on the Internet, according to a police report.

He told officers that he grabbed the woman by the throat and then cut his arm because he was upset about hurting her, the report states.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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9900 block of Lone Eagle Drive, Fort Worth, TX
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