CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This week marks 24 years since a young mother’s disappearance in Clarksville.
Twenty-year-old Shannon Arif never showed up for her shift at Walmart the night of March 17th, 1998.
Her father, Arthur Riley, says he’s been in pain each of the 24 years since.
“I mean I held onto hope for decades, but hope is a word that as time goes on grows thinner,” Riley said.
Shannon had moved to Clarksville with her husband, Rahyab, who had been stationed at Fort Campbell. He and his sister reported Shannon missing after she never came home from work.
The two went to look for her at Walmart, where they found Shannon’s car with her purse inside, but no signs of Shannon.
After all these years, News 2 uncovered that two actually went missing that day. Police believe Shannon was newly pregnant.
“It’s like living with a big hole in your heart. You’re really empty. Parents are supposed to protect their children and apparently, I failed,” Riley said.
Friends reported Shannon and her husband had a troubled relationship. Her father would only describe it as “cold.” Police say Rahyab is a person of interest in this case. Whatever happened to Shannon, her father doesn’t expect to find her alive.
“I mean ask anyone whose son or daughter never came home from war, knowing that their body is somewhere else. It’s really traumatic,” Riley said.
Clarksville Montgomery Crime Stoppers is committed to generating leads in this case. Chairman Deanna McLaughlin said even the smallest tip could turn out to be the clue police need.
“A couple days ago it was announced that the remains of a missing Clarksville woman from 29 years ago were identified in Illinois,” McLaughlin said. “I was like oh, maybe that’s Shannon’s case, right? Until I actually read the story and it was another missing woman from Clarksville. But it kind of gives me hope that with technology and other things law enforcement can do, hopefully, they’ll be able to find her some way.”
Anyone who reaches out can remain anonymous, as calls are routed to a national call center. Tips resulting in an arrest could even lead to a $1,000 reward.
“Something that you may think is nothing could be the little piece of the puzzle that law enforcement needs to put everything together to make a case. So we always tell people if you heard about something or you might’ve seen something, no matter if you think it’s going to help or not it’s just important to report it,” McLaughlin said.
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Riley said knowing what happened to his daughter would bring him a great deal of peace.
“It means everything, really. It means that you can finally close the chapter, the book will finally be done, just having the answers to what happened, that goes a long way towards healing,” Riley said.
Tips can be submitted by calling 931-645-TIPS or through the P3 Tips App.