published Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Reward offered in James Roger Tant's disappearance

REWARD OFFERED

A reward is offered for information on the whereabouts of 54-year-old James Roger Tant, who last was heard from on March 10, 2012. Anyone with any information about Tant's location is asked to contact the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 423-942-2525 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND or 1-800-824-3463.

Family members and law enforcement personnel hope a $6,000 reward will produce information that leads them to missing South Pittsburg resident James Roger Tant, who hasn't been heard from in more than seven months.

Tant, 54, of Hewgleys Road on South Pittsburg Mountain, has been missing since March 10. There have been no significant leads on his whereabouts, authorities say.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said Wednesday there was "nothing new to release on the case" as the TBI's crime lab continues to analyze items officials in Marion County turned over for examination.

A major ground search in September involving emergency crews, divers and cadaver dogs to probe the mountainside near Tant's home turned up nothing helpful, and there have been few leads since. That means investigators need help from the public, according to Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett.

Family members put up $5,000 to combine with a $1,000 reward from the sheriff's office in hopes of generating new leads.

"We're at a standstill on it, but we have a $6,000 reward for any information that helps us locate him," Burnett said Wednesday.

Burnett said he and detectives met with TBI officials Tuesday to go over case information. The sheriff said he couldn't elaborate further.

Tant's wife, Patricia Tant, told investigators she last talked with her husband by phone on March 10. She said she hadn't seen him since, but has not offered an explanation as to why she didn't report her husband missing, according to the sheriff.

Burnett said his office was notified by Chattanooga-based attorney John Chris Helton that he would represent Patricia Tant in any further discussions with law enforcement.

Helton said Wednesday that he and Patricia Tant have not discussed making a public comment and that he was unable to reach his client Wednesday afternoon to determine whether she wished to do so.

Meanwhile, authorities placed Roger Tant on the FBI's missing persons database. Tant is described as white, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing about 195 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

about Ben Benton...

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 ...

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