There are no new leads in the search for missing South Pittsburg, Tenn., resident James Roger Tant, who last was heard from a year ago today, but investigators plan to refocus on the case this week.
Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said Tant, now about 55, was reported missing by family members on June 28, 2012, but had not been heard from since March 10, 2012. Family members reported him missing after repeated, unsuccessful attempts to reach him on his cellphone and at home.
Burnett said a year later there are just as few clues to his disappearance as there were then.
"We met with some of the family members last week. Nothing new's come up," the sheriff said Friday.
He said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent assigned to the case has been away for training for some time but is expected back this week.
"He and my detective are going to start back full time on it," he said.
Tant, of Hewgleys Road on South Pittsburg Mountain, was the subject of a major ground search last September that used emergency crews, divers and cadaver dogs to probe the mountainside near his home, but it turned up nothing helpful, the sheriff said.
A $6,000 reward still stands for any information on Tant's whereabouts. Tant's family offered $5,000, and the sheriff's office put up $1,000, Burnett said.
He urged members of the public to "just help us find him."
Tant's wife, Patricia Tant, told investigators she last talked with her husband by phone on March 10, 2012. She said she hadn't seen him since, but has not offered an explanation as to why she never reported her husband missing, according to the sheriff.
Sheriff's Detective Matt Blansett said early in the investigation that Roger Tant's vehicle remained with other vehicles at the home, and that friends and family said it was uncharacteristic for him to go anywhere without letting someone know.
Friends say Tant is an "outdoors type" who rides four-wheelers and walks and hikes in the woods, according to Blansett. The rear of the Tant home faces the slopes of South Pittsburg Mountain.
Authorities placed Roger Tant on the FBI's missing persons database.
Tant is white and 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He weighs about 195 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...