CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – 21 Year old Paula Burnette was last seen on September 17th, 1996.
She has been missing for nearly 22 years.
The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Cold Case Unit says they are close to solving this case.
Our News 12 Morning Crew takes a look at the investigation and the next step in bringing closure to her family.
Not a phone call or a trace concerning the disappearance of Paula Burnette.
“Every possible avenue to locate her has been exhausted.”more than one time…she is still missing.”
From a missing person’s case to a homicide investigation, authorities have tried to find any clue leading to Burnette.
Less than a month after she disappeared from Harrison, Tennessee, authorities received a call from a concerned resident.
“Her driver’s license was found, a ground search where her license was found, her pocket book with other credit cards was found in the Tyner area.”
So what could have led to her disappearance?
“She was fun she was always smiling.”
Tinika Hollis remembers Paula Burnette well, in fact Paula called Tinika twice before she disappeared.
“She had even mentioned about two weeks before she disappeared, that if anything ever happened to her don’t stop looking….she was in fear.”
“She was a very loving mother, she wouldn’t have walked away from her children….she was having problems with her husband but they could have got a divorce.”
Paula’s Husband Donald Ray Burnette has been investigated by authorities.
“We are looking at a subject its been well publicly that the husband has been on the radar…he is currently in prison serving time for a kidnapping bank robbery.”
Investigators believe they are close to solving this case.
“I think it’s fair to say we are ready to move forward with some of the legal avenues when it comes to pursuing and prosecution….even if there is not a body.”
But investigators are still looking for clues and the public’s help in solving the crime.
“We feel very sure that there is somebody who knows more than what they are sharing.”
“If it was your daughter, your sister or your mother you would want answers. There is someone out there that has an answer. They have a piece of this puzzle, no matter how small they think it is they need to come forward to the cold case division.”
Now authorities just hope they can find Burnette and arrest the person responsible.
“Her remains need to be found her family needs the closure, Paula and her family deserve justice for the wrong that has been done against her and the person responsible needs to held accountable.”