CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Family and close friends of Christopher Stewart spoke with News 2 just days after the 47-year-old’s body was discovered near the Cumberland River in Clarksville.
“We were just believing that he would show up,” said Tommy Vallejos, the Connection Pastor at the Mosaic Church in Clarksville, where Stewart was a dedicated member.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Stewart was reported missing on April 20. Ten days prior, police say he was last seen around 11 p.m. walking in the 500 block of Riverside Drive.
Vallejos says he was first alerted to Stewarts’ disappearance from news reports. Soon after he says Stewart’s sister traveled from Mississippi, where he is originally from, to speak with Pastor Vallejos about her brother.
“Just the thought of not knowing where your brother’s at. Is he alive, or has he just wandering off, so it was very heartfelt, as a Pastor I felt compassion,” said Vallejos.
Within the same month, the family’s nightmare became a reality. Police say Stewart’s body was found near the Smith Branch Boat Ramp.
“There’s always hope and belief and then your hope is taken away,” Vallejos describes. “He loved his daughter, [would] come up and say look pastor look at her.”
Stewart’s family told News 2 Christopher was a dedicated father who loved to fish. Vallejos described moments where Stewart would come to church and show off new pictures of his daughter as a proud parent.
Stewart was close to his three siblings. His sister says while his death is not the outcome they had hoped for, the family is happy his body was discovered. She pointed to the number of families whose loved one goes missing and never get answers.
The cause and manner of Stewart’s death are still under investigation. The Special Operation Homicide Unit has taken the lead. Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact 931-645-8477.
The family created a GoFundMe in honor of Christopher Stewart.