published Monday, September 24th, 2012

Search for missing Marion County man continues

HOW TO HELP

Roger Tant is a 54-year-old white man, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 195 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts may call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 423-942-2525 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-824-3463 (1-800-TBI-FIND).

Marion County, Tenn., authorities continue to seek answers in the disappearance of South Pittsburg resident Roger Tant.

Tant, 54, last spoke with his wife, Patricia, by phone on March 10, investigators said, and he hasn't been heard from since.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said a recent search of several hundred acres of forested mountainside near the Tant home on Hewgleys Road turned up no clues.

"We were out there for about 12 hours," Burnett said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation brought in cadaver dogs earlier this month to search nearby woods, while divers checked some nearby bodies of water with no success, he said.

That means investigators still need help from the public, he said.

Tant wasn't reported missing until June 28 when his sister filed a report after repeated, unsuccessful attempts to reach him on his cellphone and at home, authorities said.

Burnett said Patricia Tant has not explained why she did not report her husband's disappearance earlier. She could not be reached for comment.

Marion County Sheriff's Office 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.

Burnett said Monday that investigators continue to plod along with the case.

"TBI sent a lot of stuff to the lab — records and stuff — and we're trying get some help from the Fusion Center in Nashville," he said.

The Fusion Center is housed within the state agency's Criminal Intelligence Unit which manages, among its other duties, information on missing persons and "most wanted" cases.

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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