Investigators search for missing Bradley Co. woman
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - There are some new leads in a three year old missing persons case in Bradley County. 51-year-old Marsha Brantley was reported missing November 2009. Investigators spent Friday night digging up the basement of her home and searching for her body with cadaver dogs.
Marsha Brantley's family thinks her husband killed her, but the Bradley County Sheriff's Office nor the TBI have evidence to arrest him or find her. The case has picked back up as investigators and her family get a closer look at the home the couple shared.
Marsha Brantley's family scouring the home for clues for the first time. A judge turned it over to them Thursday.
"It's a very sad day for me but the good part about it is that we could possibly find evidence that could lead us to where she might be," Brantley's aunt Medra Justice said.
Investigators searched the home twice before with warrants but came up empty handed. Now her family is giving them unrestricted access to see if anything was overlooked. Right away, something caught their eye.
"They noticed an unevenness in the concrete floor of the basement, different texture, different finish. Something's mighty suspicious about that," attorney Jim Logan said.
The Bradley County Sheriff's Office isn't going into details, just saying it's part of the ongoing missing persons case. The family's attorney confirms they brought in cadaver dogs Friday night as they dug into the basement floor, but no body.
"All I want is to find her and give her a final resting place," Justice said.
So far the family has turned over several discoveries to police including her day planner that leads them to believe she actually went missing in early June. Her husband, Donnie Brantley, never reported her missing and her family says they rarely heard from her anyway. He said she left him.
"He just wouldn't let her associate with other people. He kept her here," Justice said.
Marsha's hair dresser finally reported her missing in November, after she hadn't come into the salon for a while. All of her belongings, including her car, were still at the house, mostly in trash bags.
"I think he killed her and she's gone. She's not with us anymore," Justice said.
Logan says police questioned Donnie, but didn't have evidence for an arrest. Now he hasn't been seen in a year and a half. Marsha's family says they'll continue searching for answers.
"I'll never give up looking for her," Justice said.
Marsha Brantley's family and investigators asks that anyone with information that could relate to this case, no matter how small, please call the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.