Fundraiser benefits missing Hermitage mother's sons - WKRN News 2

Fundraiser benefits missing Hermitage mother's sons

Posted: Updated: Jul 25, 2014 09:45 PM
Nichole "Nikki" Burgess went missing from her Hermitage home on May 23, 2014. Nichole "Nikki" Burgess went missing from her Hermitage home on May 23, 2014.
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. -  A weekend fundraiser will benefit the two children of missing Hermitage mother Nichole “Nikki” Burgess.

The event will be held Saturday from Noon until Midnight at the Blind Zebra Sports Bar & Grill located on Highway 70 East in Crossville.

SLIDESHOW: Missing Hermitage mother

Burgess’ best friend, Stevie Blainey, and other friends helped put together the benefit. 

“She was the person I called every day,” said Blainey. 

The last time Blainey spoke with Burgess was more than two months ago.

“I've been through every emotion with this as far as it goes,” said Blainey. 

On the afternoon of May 23, Blainey said Burgess was getting ready to drive to Sparta, Tennessee to visit her boyfriend Jay Henry. 

“Usually she texts me as soon as she leaves, she texts me as soon as she gets there, or calls me or whatever,” said Blainey. 

Blainey told News 2 she instantly knew something was wrong when she didn’t hear from Burgess after she received a text message that said she was with her son’s father, Caleb Cannon, at her Hermitage home.

“They had an altercation over something, so it obviously threw a red flag,” she said. 

Blainey, however, said she didn’t see any warning signs.  

“The day that it even happened she wasn't scared, she wasn't worried about it. Otherwise, I feel like I would have said something or had her try to meet her in a different place,” said Blainey. 

She continued, “There were things that he’d done in the past that weren’t necessarily kosher, but there weren’t red flags to make any of us think that he was going to do anything to her. I just hope for the best, you can’t not whenever you love somebody.”

Cannon, the father of Burgess’ 10-year-old son, has been named a person of interest in the case.

Police have searched Cannon’s home in Anderson County outside Knoxville. Several weapons including a gun and an axe were recovered.

Detectives said they have reason to believe Burgess is dead due to the presence of human decomposition detected in both her home and in the trunk of Cannon’s car, but her body has not been found.

Blood-stained bedding, brass knuckles and empty bottles of cleaner were also recovered from the woman’s home.

While Cannon remains a person of interest, charges have yet to be filed.

A GoFundMe page is also set up in Burgess’ honor. Those who cannot attend the benefit can help through that page. 

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