Knoxville man's Halloween murder unsolved after 25 years

Knoxville man's Halloween murder unsolved after 25 years

Updated:
Lloyd Baysinger (source: family) Lloyd Baysinger (source: family)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - On the morning after Halloween 1986, investigators say a Knoxville man's body was found in a Loudon County cornfield. 

They believe Lloyd Baysinger, 68, had been gagged. He was found tied up with chains and pieces of his own clothing.

Twenty-five years later, detectives and Baysinger's family are still puzzled about why someone would kill him in such a brutal way.

For the last 25 years, Bertie Hargus, Baysinger's oldest daughter, says she's decorated her house for every holiday except Halloween. "I used to cry and get sick a lot about it," she said.

Lt. Patrick Upton with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office oversees the case today.

"When it originally happened, when they found the body here, one of the persons who found it thought it was a prank, that someone had left a dummy out there or something," Lt. Upton said as he showed 6 News the field where the body was found.

He says Baysinger lived at Isabella Towers Apartments in Knoxville. The complex still stands today.

Investigators say around the time Baysinger was found dead, there was another man who was found murdered and dismembered at the same apartment complex.

For a while, detectives thought the two cases could be linked. "There were two suspects in that case, but later we found out it had nothing to do with our homicide," Lt. Upton said.

With that theory ruled out, investigators began looking closer at the kind of life Baysinger led, and possible motives for someone to kill him.

"Everyone loved him that was around him. You hardly heard anyone say a harsh word about him," said his daughter.

"He wasn't a guy that stayed in a lot of trouble. He was just a regular guy really," said Lt. Upton.

Over the years, investigators have had a few theories about what could have happened that day.

"It could have been a robbery, a situation where he befriended someone and something went wrong," Lt. Upton said.

But nothing could link them to a solid suspect, and over the years, the case grew cold.

Bertie Hargus says when she was younger, she wished so much that they'd find her father's killer.

Now she finds comfort in knowing whoever it is will have their day of judgment with God. "I don't have to cry no more because it's in his hands. He'll take care of it," she said.

Lt. Upton believes that day of judgment needs to happen here on Earth first, no matter how late. "If he's out there and wants to make peace with himself, this is a good time to do it," he said.

The lieutenant hopes that one day, a conscience catches up with the person behind the crime.

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