In 2006, Kentucky’s Paducah Police and Fire departments responded to a house fire at the home of 81-year-old Dr. Frank Shemwell. They found the beloved doctor’s burned body on the kitchen floor. The police said the fire was arson. After the autopsy, the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Dr. Shemwell “suffered blunt-force trauma and the injuries, along with smoke inhalation, were factors” in his death.
Shortly after her husband’s death, 41-year-old Penny Baird Shemwell was sentenced to 15 years in jail on charges of felony shoplifting, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. She served six years and was released on parole in 2012. While police did question Penny about her husband’s death in 2006, she didn’t cooperate with their investigation. Detective Sgt. Brian Laird says he believes she knows more than she is telling. It is the oldest homicide cold case in the city. Nearly ten years later, forensic experts Kelly and Yolanda will try to bring justice to the doctor’s family on Cold Justice, May 15 at 8pm on TNT.