The search for a missing individual from Cumberland County came to a tragic end late today. Crews located a vehicle on its top following an accident down a steep embankment on the bypass roughly a mile south-southwest of Highway 70 East. Sheriff Casey Cox confirmed to 105.7 News this evening Lonnie Breland was inside the automobile deceased.
The sheriff’s office issued the following:
On August 28, 2020, Lake Tansi Security Police responded to a residence on Oklahoma Drive for a missing person report. A family member stated that Mr. Lonnie Breland, age 69, was last seen at approximately 1 p.m. Mr. Breland’s last contact with a family member was at approximately 3:30 pm and had made arrangements for a dinner meeting and had not shown up. Family members had made repeated phone calls to his phone without any answer and stated it was out of character for him to be out of touch for that length of time.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, along with friends, family, community volunteers, and other emergency first responders began to search for Mr. Breeland. A law enforcement BOLO was issued to all law enforcement officers and Mr. Breeland was entered into the National Crime Information Center database as a missing person. Mr. Breeland’s phone was “pinged” by Central Communications to attempt to determine a location and the pings returned from the phone company with a very large radius of a possible location. Searches continued throughout the weekend along with multiple “pings”. Social media was also utilized to attempt to locate anyone with additional information about Mr. Breeland’s location.
At approximately 6 p.m. this evening, dispatch received a call that a volunteer had located the vehicle on the bypass approximately ¾ of a mile past Dayton Avenue. Emergency responders arrived and found Mr. Breeland deceased in the vehicle. The vehicle appears to have left the roadway and traveled approximately ½ of a mile and came to rest in a very dense wooded area not visible from the roadway.
The investigation is ongoing as the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigates and reconstructs the accident to determine the cause. An autopsy will be performed.