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What Should I Do If I Find Human Bones?

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is establishing new protocol regarding the discovery of skeletal remains often found by hunters, hikers, construction crews, etc.  This is in conjunction with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (  The KCSO is the first law enforcement agency in Tennessee to establish partnerships with these agencies to issue the protocol, What Should I Do If I Find Human Bones?

Most often what is found is animal remains, but what should you do if you recognize the remains to be that of a person?  First and most important is that you do not disturb the site.  It’s possible that the bones are going to be spread over a large area.  Mark the spot either by GPS coordinates or by some type of recognizable marker.  Leave the area in the same path that you entered.  Using the same pathway ensures that a minimal amount of possible forensic evidence will not be disturbed. 

Next, you should immediately call 911.  Establish an easily identifiable location for officers to meet you,   and remain at that location until contact is made.  Give the officer all pertinent information concerning the location of the bones as well as your contact information in case authorities need to get additional information later.  It will be up to authorities to determine if the discovery is the basis for criminal investigation.    Understanding proper procedures upon discovering skeletal remains will avoid any hindrance to a criminal investigation. Human



Mother and Boyfriend Arrested in Abuse Case

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A case that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family Crisis Unit has been investigating for nearly two years resulted in two arrests Thursday morning.  Laurel Harmon, 26, and her boyfriend Robin Mayes, 27, were arrested Thursday morning at their residence in Harriman.  They were both charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect and are in jail, each under a $300,000 bond.

A Knox County grand jury returned the indictments against the pair.  The case goes back to January 2012 when Harmon and her son lived in Knox County with Mayes and involves the abuse of Harmon’s son, who was two years old at the time.  He is now in foster care.  The Family Crisis Unit is continuing the investigation.  The two mug shots are not current.  Harmon's is from 9/21/12 and Mayes' is from 11/18/12.



Former Halls Middle School Teaching Assistant Arrested

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A former teaching assistant for special education at Halls Middle School has been charged with four counts of child abuse and two counts of assault.   Rebecca Shoemaker, 53, is in the Knox County Jail under a $5,000 bond.  The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family Crisis Unit conducted a joint investigation with a special investigative unit of the Department of Children’s Services.  She was arrested at her home in North Knox County Thursday morning after a Knox County grand jury issued the indictments. 



Strip Mall Businesses Burglarized

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is investigating three business burglaries in an Oak Ridge Highway strip mall and a burglary in a nearby market.  Officers responded Tuesday morning to 8917 Oak Ridge Highway where they found the doors to Little Nicky’s Pizza, Junk Drunk, and D&B Hotdog and Ice Cream had been busted in.    The owner of Little Nicky’s said a handgun, cell phone and change from the register was missing.  The owner of Junk Drunk said a desk had been forcibly opened, but nothing was missing from his store.  The owner of the hotdog place said change from the cash register was missing.

Detectives believe the burglary of Lee’s Food Mart at 8929 Oak Ridge Highway also on Tuesday morning may be related.  Officers responded to the business when an alarm went off.  They found glass from the front door broken, but the door still locked.  Video showed the suspect using a crowbar to break the glass and then pry open two cash registers.  Money and cigarettes were missing from the store.



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