TOP PHOTO: This is the area behind Holley-Gamble Funeral Home where missing brothers Scott and Tracy Hawkins likely entered the woods in search of ginseng on Aug. 6.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – “It feels like my heart’s been cut out of my chest,” said Donna Hawkins. Friday morning will mark two weeks since Hawkins’ sons, Scott Hawkins, 51, and Tracy Hawkins, 44, left out from her Ridenour Lane home going hunting for ginseng planning to return that evening in time to mow her yard and work in her flower bed. They’ve not been seen since.
The men told their mother they’d park at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home and hunt ginseng in the woods back behind the funeral home. When they did not return on Saturday, she went looking for the “old truck” as she described her maroon 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The truck was where they said it would be, but there was no sign of Scott, her oldest child, and Tracy.
On Sunday, Aug. 8, Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Grant Cole led a localized search of the area around Holley-Gamble Funeral Home and the Lake City Church of Christ along the Campbell-Anderson County line. Search efforts have continued since with the use of drones, K-9s, ATVs and personnel on foot.
A big search effort on Saturday that included a helicopter came up empty. However, Jason Hawkins assisted in that effort and found signs that his brothers had been in the area. He located Edgefield cigarette butts, the brand Scott smokes, along with candy wrappers and Mountain Dew cans, two of the items the pair would eat and drink when being out, according to his mother. There was no way to track the pair by way of a cellphone ping, because neither has a cellphone.
Donna Hawkins was there on Saturday watching all the searchers that came in from all around to help find ‘her boys’ as she calls them. “The teams worked so well together. I appreciate this county and those from outside our area though I don’t know everybody involved,” said Donna. “I do know if my boys could have called me, they would have,” she adds.
Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins thanks the multiple members of the sheriff’s office, members of the La Follette Rescue Squad and Anderson County Rescue Squads, Rocky Top Police and the large amount of family and volunteers for their help in the searches over the past week.
Depending on weather, the sheriff says searches will continue. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office at 423-562-7446. Anonymous tips can be left by calling 423-566-DRUG (3784).
The sleepless nights and tears continue mounting for Donna. “I just want them found. I can’t stand going in the back bedroom, her sons’ room,” she said as she asks others to ‘just pray.’ (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/18/2021-6AM)