Information sought

Anyone with information about the Samantha Chandler case is encouraged to contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND, or the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office at 931-692-3466, extension 5.

The woods in the Ross Creek area of Grundy County, Tenn., might still have been wet from showers on the weekend of April 30, 2016.

Temperatures that weekend were between 59 and 76 in nearby Monteagle.

Those were the conditions when 26-year-old Gruetli-Laager mother Samantha Kathleen Chandler was violently beaten to death and her body left 150 feet off a remote, rural road not far from where she lived with her parents and son.

Chandler died of blunt-force trauma to her head, investigators said.

Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum hopes somebody remembers seeing something out of the ordinary that weekend that could lead who killed her.

Chandler's body was found May 1, 2016, by ATV riders who were in the area near the spot where Ross Creek Road becomes Burkett's Chapel Road.

The remote location is crisscrossed with trails, fire roads and creeks that plunge into a heavily wooded gorge to the west. To the east is an area where trees have been cleared away along the roadside, giving way to a maze of off-roader trails. The roads there are mostly gravel and the trails are not maintained.

"We hope someone may have seen a vehicle or vehicles on Ross Creek Road the night of her murder," Shrum said Friday.

Early in the investigation, Shrum said authorities had a "strong lead," but now almost a year later that lead is still the best tip so far.


Twelfth Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said evidence collected early in the investigation through search warrants at an unreleased number of residences is still being analyzed at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

One of the homes belonged to Chandler's ex-husband, but no suspects have been named, no charges filed and there is no "person of interest" at this point, Taylor said. That residence is described as a mobile home on 2 acres, according to state real estate records.

Taylor and Shrum said they couldn't talk about what is being analyzed or where that evidence came from.

TBI officials are equally mum on what tips they've gotten, but readily admit they would be happy to get some new information.

"This does remain an active and ongoing investigation [and] we do continue to pursue any tips as we get them," TBI spokeswoman Susan Niland said via email on Friday.

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