Missing Polk County man’s body found, foul play suspected

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POLK COUNTY, TENN – A missing person’s investigation has turned into a murder investigation according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Benny R. Locke of the Benton Station community was last seen on December 7th. Mr. Locke is a 66-year-old white male approximately 5’6 140 lbs.

Mr. Locke’s vehicle was located several miles from his residence. A search of Mr. Locke’s residence, the areas around his residence along with an extensive search of the woods around where his vehicle was located was performed by the West Polk Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office but were unable to locate Mr. Locke.

On January 18, an individual located a body off an embankment on Athens Road near Chestee Creek and Calhoun.

An autopsy confirmed Locke’s identity and murder as the cause of death.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office labeled Locke as a private man with a “shortlist of friends and family.” He tended to stay close to home unless leaving home for groceries. The investigators’ timeline placed Locke at Dollar General on December 7 and his last known use of his cell phone was on the same date. Detectives have hope that someone saw something that might lead to the arrest of the murderer.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Detective Kevin Cole at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 423-338-8215.

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