Woman abducted from West Knoxville home found safe in North Carolina
Tamra Beam (source: Knoxville Police Department)
Dennis Smith (source: McDowell County, N.C. Sheriff's Office)
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Officials say a woman reported missing after a possible home invasion in West Knoxville has been found safe in North Carolina and a man was taken into custody.
The Knoxville Police Department says Tamra Beam, 51, was discovered missing from 7205 Sheffield Drive after receiving a report of a reported burglary and possible crime against a person around 1:51 p.m. Wednesday.
The homeowner said he had returned home and discovered the rear door had been forced open.
Police then determined Beam, a housekeeper at the residence, had been present at the time of the break-in and evidence at the scene indicated she had been abducted.
Police said Beam's ex-husband, Dennis Richard Smith, 53, was a possible suspect and that they may have been in a blue Ford Fusion with North Carolina tag BCB 9836, registered in Union County, North Carolina.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says Beam and Smith were found at a rest area on Interstate 40 near Marion, N.C. around 6:40 a.m. Thursday morning. Smith was taken to the McDowell County jail and is awaiting an initial appearance in federal court. The FBI says he will likely be brought back to East Tennessee to face charges.
Neighbors on Sheffield Drive said they were shocked and praying for Beam's family.
"Sometimes the people that know you the best can be the most hurtful. So I'm hoping that she's safe and we'll find out soon what's going on," said Jane Wellman.