GRANTSBORO, TN (WLAF) – On Wednesday evening, Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Cove Point community in reference to a missing employee from a construction site. The employee was reportedly completing contractor work on a home in the area. Co-workers had limited information regarding the employee stating it was his first day on the job. Identified only by the first name, Sonny, co-workers claimed the man had wandered away from the job site. Initial reports were that he may have gone to cool off in the lake. After noticing his extended absence, co-workers searched the surrounding area and were unable to locate him. The prompted a call to E-911.
Upon arrival, deputies searched the area, and the La Follette Rescue Squad used side scan sonar to search the lake by boat. After an extended search, the missing man was unable to be located and the process was initiated to file a missing persons report.
Chief Deputy Matt Wasson was able to make contact with the girlfriend of the missing man and gather his personal information. The missing man was identified as Sonny D. Southall. While completing the missing persons report, Deputy Brian Osborne discovered Southall was entered as a fugitive, after escaping from federal custody in Illinois. According to officials, Southall had a history of drug and weapons related charges.
Investigators and a trained cadaver K-9 returned to the area Thursday morning and were still unable to locate or track the movements of Southall. However, later in the day a resident of the Cove Point community discovered a body in an area that had been repeatedly been searched Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Investigators believe the body is that of Southall and have requested an autopsy for confirmation.
Chief Wasson said, “The investigation is open and ongoing and the cause of death remains unknown. No foul play is suspected. However, given Southall’s history, it is suspected drugs may have been a factor in his death.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/04/2020-7PM)