Jennifer Lee Hampton, a 21-year-old Florence, Ala. woman, disappeared from the Day’s Inn off Lovell Road Friday night.
Hampton and three coworkers were in town to train new employees of Mama Blues Buffet. According to Knoxville Police Department Public Information Officer Darryl Debusk, officers have found evidence to suggest Hampton was a victim of foul play.
“We discovered some evidence on Saturday that would indicate that it’s possible that she has been a victim of foul play.” Debusk could not say what evidence KPD had found, but did correct a rumor KPD had recovered her vehicle and purse.
Monday morning, more than four dozen KPD officers and recruits formed a search grid of the wooded area between Lovell Road and the Turkey Creek development. “We were doing a grid search in the wetland area … there’s also a walkway trail that goes through that area,” Debusk said.
“We also had the rescue squad that responded with some of their boats and divers and we’re looking in and around some of the ponds and the deep area of the creek that runs along the trail,” he added.
According to Debusk, KPD has marked some evidence sites through the woods, but has uncovered nothing concretely connected to Hampton. “We’ve found a few things that we’ve marked that we cannot at this time say is connected … nothing that solidly ties to this case,” Debusk said.
He was not sure of the location of the next search grid. “We are continuing our investigation. We have conducted numerous interviews … we are working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“They are examining some evidence that we recovered,” Debusk said. Saturday, KPD arrested two employees of the Day’s Inn, but on unrelated charges, Debusk said.
Monday afternoon, Mama Blues Buffet offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Hampton’s recovery.