published Monday, June 16th, 2014

Marion County authorities seek leads in missing man case

  • photo
    Roger Tant, 54, was last seen on March 10, 2012. His whereabouts remain a mystery.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

South Pittsburg, Tenn., resident James Roger Tant has been missing since March of 2012, and Marion County authorities say there have been no new leads since early in the investigation.

Tant's family and friends said at the time of his disappearance more than two years ago that it was unusual for the man to go anywhere without telling someone. He left his vehicle behind with others at the home he shared with his wife, Pat Tant, authorities said.

Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said the case is growing cold but noted that there is still a $6,000 reward for information in the case. TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said the state agency's case is "still open and active," but he didn't have any new details to talk about.

"I'm looking at it with a positive attitude and hoping every day that something will come about in the case," Tant's sister Connie Case said Thursday. "I hope somebody's conscience starts bothering them enough they will come forward with the information we need."

Tant, who would be 56 now, last spoke to Pat Tant by phone on March 10, 2012, according to investigators.

The father of one wasn't reported missing by his wife of 20 years, but by Case, who repeatedly tried to reach him on his cellphone and filed a missing persons report in late June 2012.

Pat Tant has never explained why she didn't report her husband's disappearance, according to Burnett.

She did not return calls to her business, Solution Seven LLC, seeking comment for this story.

Marion County investigator Matt Blansett said that authorities have not been able to determine whether foul play is involved.

Blansett said Pat Tant has not provided any information since her initial statement about the phone call.

"I have contacted Pat Tant recently, and she advised that she had hired counsel to represent her during the ongoing investigation," he said. She has not been named a suspect or person of interest, he said.

Burnett said investigators got calls early in the investigation but Tant's trail still ends in the area of his home on Hewgleys Road on South Pittsburg Mountain.

Marion officials and family members say Tant was an "outdoor" type who liked off-road vehicles and raised game chickens and was well-known in those circles. Online message boards run by game fowl fans were filled with notices and queries about their fellow fan in the months after Tant's disappearance.

Tant had numerous game fowl pens behind his house but most are now gone, according to officials.

Case said her brother is a "good guy, great dad and wonderful son to our parents."

"When you ran into him, he would talk and talk. He didn't ever meet a stranger," she said.

Authorities ask anyone with information on Roger Tant's whereabouts to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 423-942-2525 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-824-3463.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfree or 423-757-6569.

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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