NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s a mystery that’s stumped law enforcement. What happened to Jennifer Wyant? She was a vibrant young woman who seemed to simply vanish four decades ago.
“I’ll never forget that night hearing her name on the news and going — What? What? Did they say Jennifer Wyant?” says Jennifer’s friend Paula Beaird.
“She was 21 years old when she went missing. Just your typical young adult just starting out with life,” explains Metro Nashville Police Department Cold Case Unit Detective Matthew Filter.
“There’s just something about not knowing. How can someone disappear in thin air?” asks Beaird.
The year was 1980, and Jennifer Wyant was excited about life.
“She had moved out on her own into a nice new apartment. She was going to school at night to further her education. She was juggling a lot of balls, and she was juggling them very well,” recalls Jennifer’s friend, and Colonial Bakery coworker, who chooses not to share her identity publicly.
“She bought a nice car. It was the black TransAm with the big gold bird on the hood, and she parked that car across two spaces, because she did not want anyone dinging her doors.”
On Friday the 27th, Jennifer and her coworkers were together. It was the last time they’d see her.
“We had lunch together at Taco Bell on Nolensville Road. We were talking about our weekend plans, and she said she was going to a softball party.”
Then came the morning of June 30th.
“She didn’t show up for work Monday morning. This is very unusual for her. She was reliable,” says Filter.
Her parents reported her missing. Police discovered Jennifer had played in the softball game and attended the party, just as she’d planned.
“She left the party and she went back to her apartment which was Tanglewood Court Apartments,” explains Filter, “Right off of Harding Place.”
The complex is now called Whispering Oaks.
The events that followed have never been released to the public, until now. Her neighbors reported seeing a dark color 4-door sedan.
“They heard some screaming and looked out their window and they saw four individuals forcing a woman into a car and driving off. We believe that woman was Jennifer,” Det. Filter says. “They reported this information to the apartment security guard, unfortunately the security guard never notified the police.”
Motive is still a mystery.
“It’s almost something I would say is targeted — that someone was looking at her for one reason or another and waiting for her to return home,” Filter says.
For nearly six months, the case was quiet. Then on December 11th, some of Jennifer’s personal property was discovered in an area known as Blue Lake Lane. But, back in 1980, it looked much different. The housing complex, which stands now, was under development.
“He was a contractor. They were working in that area, and they found her driver’s license,” says Jennifer’s co-worker.
This is very close to the Piercy Priest Lake area. It’s very possible that they could have taken her into the woods and dumped her body,” says Det. Filter. “They did search the area with dogs, and there was nothing found.”
“I think about her every year. I’ve just never forgotten her,” says her friend.
“I had a friend disappear … actually has disappeared!” recalls Beaird.
“I’d love to be able to get in contact with people that she was playing softball with, people that were at the party with her that night and the security guard that worked out there,” says Filter.
Any information, even the smallest memory, may help bring closure to a decades-old disappearance.
“I can’t believe that she’s been gone for 40 years and nobody knows anything about it. It’s crazy. It’s just crazy!” says her coworker.
If you have any information regarding Jennifer Wyant, you’re asked to contact Det. Filter at 615-862-7803.