Body found in Franklin County, Tenn., could be missing man from Tullahoma

The TBI and authorities in Franklin County, Tullahoma and Coffee County were on the scene where a body was discovered on Thursday west of Woods Reservoir.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Chris Guess said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local investigators went to the area of Spring Creek Road and UTSI Road - named for the University of Tennessee Space Institute on the north shore of the reservoir - as part of a missing person investigation launched Sunday in Franklin County.

Franklin County deputies met up with Tullahoma police officers who had been searching a wooded area adjacent to the UTSI-Spring Creek Road intersection in connection with the missing person. Around 9:15 a.m. Thursday, authorities found the body of a white man.

Guess said the three agencies will conduct a joint investigation.

Franklin County authorities have not released the name of the missing person, but the Tullahoma News in Coffee County reported that officials there believe the body is that of 33-year-old David Edward Steele, who was reported missing in Tullahoma on Oct. 3.

In the days before the discovery of the body, Tullahoma police had been investigating Steele's disappearance after a woman told officials there that Steele had been shot near the Dossett Apartments in Tullahoma, according to the newspaper's account. Steele's father told police he last spoke with his son on Aug. 16.

The body found Thursday has been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Nashville for an autopsy to positively confirm the identity and seek a cause of death, officials said.

Authorities want anyone with information about the discovery of the body or Steele's disappearance to contact the Franklin County Communications Center at 931-967-2331. The Tullahoma Police Department can be reached at 931-455-0530.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at