Body found in French Broad River thought to be missing suspect

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The body of a man, presumed to be that of a man missing since Jan. 22, was removed from the French Broad River on Wednesday near the Fred Valentine Bridge on U.S. Highway 321 in Cocke County.

According to the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office the body was found around 10 a.m. The Newport Rescue Squad removed the body that was later transported to the Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville for an autopsy.

On Jan. 22, Cocke County deputies engaged in a high-speed pursuit involving three suspects as they tried to serve felony warrants. One suspect, Alyson Hinson, was arrested at the time of the wreck. The body of a second suspect was found two weeks later, Feb. 5.

Hinson identified the two other occupants of the car as Bobby Shelton and Steven Hance.

“The EMA department has assisted our departments and organized several searches in order to locate the missing persons and we cannot thank them enough for their work,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a release. “We also want to thank each volunteer department, full time first responders, family members of the missing and Rescue teams that came together to search over the past couple of months.”

The Sheriff’s Office said it would release the identity of the body will be released once family members have been notified. The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is handling the investigation.