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Dunlap Police launch task force to find Matthew Tyler Henry, after 5-year anniversary of missing person case

From Local 3 News: Matthew Tyler Henry was 29 when he went missing. He was last seen in a Tractor Supply parking lot in Dunlap. He got out of his Mustang and got in another person’s vehicle.

 

That was in 2018.

 

Henry’s parents, Beverly and Mark, haven’t heard from him in over five years, and the two are raising his now 7-year-old son.

The Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Bureau of Investigation announced during a press conference on Thursday that the agencies will assist Dunlap Police on the task force. Some of the agents have experience in Henry’s case, but they have welcomed others as a fresh set of eyes.

 

Sequatchie County Sheriff, Bill Phillips, was contracted to work the case a few years ago. Phillips was a retired Chattanooga Police Officer for decades and worked as a homicide detective. Sheriff Phillips says he knew he wanted to create a task force group in his new position.

 

“It’s past time for justice for the family, for the community, and most importantly, for Matt,” Sheriff Phillips says.

 

Sheriff Phillips says this is a missing person case, but says they are investigating it as a homicide. He says they do not have the evidence to qualify for a homicide case.

 

Dunlap Chief of Police, Randy Phillips, agrees.

 

“He’s not contacted his family in five years. He has not done any of the normal things a person that is living would do,” Chief Phillips says.

 

Chief Phillips says hundreds of hours have gone into this case. He says it will take hundreds more to resolve it.

 

Sheriff Phillips says they have interviewed dozens of people. He says after each interview, they find more avenues to explore. He says this requires lots of time, which is why he needed more hands focused on the case.

 

Detective Wallace Cunningham says they have investigated several leads over the years. He says some key witnesses have since passed.

 

Cunningham says he was on patrol on April 15th and saw Henry’s car in the parking lot. He says he thought something was suspicious. He says it was just a few weeks later when the missing person report was filed. He says they did not get the chance to examine the car or serve a search warrant.

 

“We’d like to lay our son to rest. Obviously, we want justice for him,” says Beverly Henry. “As crazy as it sounds, forgiveness. Not for them, but for us.”

 

The Henry’s, as well as members of the community, have offered their help in finding Matthew. Some have created billboards with information on Henry and resources to call.

 

The Henry’s are offering a $3,500 reward for information leading to an arrest. They continue to look for closure and justice.

 

“I hope this will push some people to come forward and talk and bring this to light, for people to just come and talk about it,” says Mark Henry.

 

Chief Phillips says no information is insignificant. He says it may seem like a minor detail, but it could be the missing piece of information to solve the case.

 

If you have any information, contact Dunlap Police at 423-949-3319. You can remain anonymous by calling 423-949-7233.