TBI searches rural area near Chapel Hill for missing teacher
June 1, 2011 4:08 PM CDT
Harris Middle School teacher Shelley Mook was last seen Feb. 28 at her ex-husband's home in Bedford County.
CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday searched a rural area in Chapel Hill, about 50 miles south of Nashville, for missing Shelbyville teacher Shelley Mook.
Mook, a teacher at Harris Middle School, was last seen February 28 as she dropped off her daughter at her ex-husband's home on Old Nashville Dirt Road in Bedford County.
She was supposed to meet a maintenance man at her new apartment in Murfreesboro but never made it. Her car was found burned out in Rutherford County a few hours later.
Wednesday morning, the TBI set up a command at Henry Horton State Park on Nashville Highway, just south of Chapel Hill.
Searchers with the Bedford, Marshall and Rutherford county sheriff's departments, in addition to the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, state police and the TBI, started early.
Some used boats to search waterways in the park, including access roads to the Duck River, while others rode on ATVs and horses to cover more ground quicker.
TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm said information uncovered during their investigation led them to Henry Horton State Park but declined to go into details.
The park is more than 1,100 acres and she compared the search to "looking for a needle in a haystack."
"This might be one particular area where Shelley may have last made contact with someone so law enforcement pulled together and enacted a ground search," Helm said.
By 4 p.m. Wednesday, the TBI had wrapped up their search for the day. Helm said they would not be back on Thursday.
The TBI said Mook's ex-husband has stopped cooperating with police.
He has been named a person of interest in her disappearance but he has not been charged with any crime in connection with the case.
Mook's family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return.
Anyone with information should call the Bedford County Sheriff's Department at 931-684-3232, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department at 615-904-3049 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 615-744-4000.