A 21-year-old Christian ministries major from Tennessee’s Union University has been charged with the murder of his fiancée, also 21 and a student at Union University. Charles Andre Pittman is accused of murdering Olivia Marie Greenlee and staging a scene to make it appear as though she took her own life. He is currently in custody awaiting a decision on bond, which could be denied, and is expected to be formally arraigned on Tuesday morning, Feb. 18 in Jackson.
Police say that Greenlee’s body was found Wednesday morning in her car where it was parked behind Luther Hall, a building on the Union University campus. The cause of death appears to be a single gunshot wound and a gun was reportedly recovered from inside the 2001 Toyota Corolla. Pittman quickly became a person of interest and was interviewed by Jackson, Tennessee police and taken into custody pending further investigation on Friday night. Police officers met with local prosecutors and first degree murder charges have now been filed against the Christian Ministries major.
Police allege that the evidence gathered demonstrates that Pittman shot Greenlee while she sat in her car on Tuesday night and subsequently staged the scene to make it appear as though she committed suicide. Few additional details have been released at this time, though charges of tampering with evidence have also been brought against Pittman.
Union University officials have expressed their dismay about the situation and their condolences to Greenlee’s friends and family. A prayer service was held in honor of Greenlee at the school on Friday evening with dozens attending and expressing their grief. The President of Union University has issued statements requesting prayers for their community and expressing that hatred and judgment are not helpful to the case or to the deceased at this time. He further remarked that “an arrest is not the same as a conviction” and that the judicial process will have to run its course. He expressed a desire that students rely on God during this difficult time. The university has reportedly been cooperative with the ongoing police investigation.
Pittman and Greenlee had been engaged since last May. When the news of Greenlee’s death first began to circulate around campus, many students immediately expressed their condolences to Pittman via social media. He reportedly offered no response.
Tributes to Greenlee continue to be made via Facebook and Twitter as fellow students, friends and family grieve their loss. She was a senior and a music major at Union University originally from Dyersburg, Tennessee. She was reportedly an active member of the Union University community as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the Union University Singers, and a volunteer with children’s music groups as well. Her love for music is being honored as her family has requested that donations to either the Union University Music Scholarship Program or to the music ministry of her hometown church be made in her memory.
Greenlee is survived by numerous relatives, and no d0ubt her grieving friends and family in Tennessee await in anxious disbelief as further details relating to the murder charges filed against Greenlee’s fiancee, Christian ministries major, Charles Andre Pittman, emerge.
By Michele Wessel