105.7 News Exclusive – It has been 78 days and there is no trace of a woman who disappeared from a farm in Bledsoe County. Stephanie Tyson, age 64, was last seen May 12 by her boyfriend when she reportedly walked away from a farm on Brayton Road near the Bledsoe/Rhea County line.
Multiple counties sent search crews, drones and dog teams to aid in the search for Tyson. The Tennessee Highway Patrol even sent their helicopter to assist. But after days of searching for her and covering 600 acres of land, Bledsoe County authorities labeled Tyson as a survivalist who did not want to be found and called off the search.
She has not turned up anywhere since the day she walked off the farm.
However, new information obtained by 105.7 News could shed a different light on this missing-person case.
Two friends of Tyson, one in Oregon and the other in West Virginia, independently contacted 105.7 News to share information about Tyson’s stay in Bledsoe County and her planning to leave and return to West Virginia to a farm she owned, based on alleged domestic problems that were going on. Tyson contacted a couple who lived on and watched over her farm prior to her disappearance, indicating she was returning there.
Also in several documented conversations with the two friends, Tyson had arranged for someone to help her return to West Virginia. That plan fell through the day before she disappeared. Tyson told one of them they “would know what happened if I came up missing” if something went wrong.
Clearly, something did go wrong.
Tyson also went as far as to send two packages out of her items that arrived at their destinations on May 14 and 18, after she was declared missing.
After Bledsoe County authorities stopped looking for her, one item that was reportedly left behind was a survival kit belonging to Tyson. If she was a survivalist, wouldn’t that be the first thing she would take to endure a rugged area with temperatures hovering in the 90s during the day?
One of Tyson’s friends told 105.7 News about her last conversation with Tyson just three days before she disappeared. Tyson reportedly said she was finally leaving to return to West Virginia. It would be the last communication she had with Tyson.
105.7 News subsequently turned over all communication transcripts between Tyson and her two friends to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. We then reached out to District Attorney General Mike Taylor for a follow-up days later.
Taylor told 105.7 News that as of now, the case is being treated as a missing-person incident. Taylor added there was no new information regarding Tyson’s disappearance presented to him, and both the Bledsoe and Rhea County Sheriff’s departments continue to look into the case. Taylor added if new information comes up that may indicate another direction in the case, he could order an investigation.
Sgt. George Hodge of the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department told 105.7 News Tyson is still declared a missing person and the case remains open.
No further information was released.
So, the main question remains… Where is Stephanie Tyson?
Three possible options are on the table:
One, Tyson walked off the farm and has either stayed so far off the grid no one has seen or heard from her since.
Two, Tyson left the farm and something happened to her, rendering her unable to get help.
Three, Tyson fell victim to something or someone.
If you have any information that can help solve this case, contact the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department at (423) 775-7837, the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department at (423) 447-2197 or District Attorney General Mike Taylor’s office in Rhea County at (423) 775-4468.
105.7 News will continue to follow this case until a resolution is found by law enforcement.