UPDATE: Reward increased to $3,000 for information on missing Dunlap man
UPDATE: The reward for information on the disappearance of Matthew Henry has been increased to $3,000 by a new pledge from the Dunlap First Baptist Church.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dunlap Police Department at 423-949-3319.
PREVIOUS STORY: Family and friends of a missing Dunlap man are asking the public's help, raising the reward money for any information to lead to his location.
Matthew Henry went missing in April of 2018, and the Dunlap Police are still searching.
Connie Smith says she watched Matt grow up in the youth program at her church.
She considered Matt as a son, saying he had a contagious laugh and whenever he hugged you, he hugged with his whole heart.
“He was just that way. He was just like that. He loved kids, he loved to make you laugh. He was just really fun to be around,” Smith said.
Smith remembers talking to Henry like it was yesterday.
She tells me the last time she saw him was at an apartment complex in Dunlap, then she called him several days later, which was the last conversation they had.
"I said 'Matt, how are you? He said good. And I said Matt you know I love you. And he said I love you Mrs. Connie, I hope you know that,’” Smith said.
The Tractor Supply Store off of State Route 28 was the last place anyone saw Henry.
The Dunlap Police Department now suspects foul play in his death.
Smith says the family has come to terms with the idea, but she can't imagine how hard this has been for them.
"She said we believe now that Matt is no longer with us. I said 'No, Beverly. I don't think I accept that. And I don't feel it in my heart. At night when you lay down, you realize today is not the day that God has not answered your prayers. And so, it has to be hard. It's hard on me and I'm not...I'm not his mom,” Smith said.
The family has raised the reward money to $2500 for any information leading to Matthew’s location.
Smith says all the family wants is closure.
"They need to know the details...well not all the details. They just need to know where Matt is so they can bring him home. So they can go on with their lives the best they can,” Smith said.
She hopes someone will come forward, and put an end to this nightmare situation.
"Walk a minute or an hour in his parent’s shoes. Enter into their world and feel what they are going through. If you know something, please...please. No matter how irrelevant you think it might be, tell the police something. Tell them what you know. Even what you think you know, and maybe it will lead to bringing Matt home,” Smith said.
If anyone has information on Henry’s location, call the Dunlap Police Department.